Turkish aide congratulates Palestinian marathon runner
Presidential spokesman applauds Mohammad al-Qadi for Istanbul race; He had been prevented from running US marathon
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Sunday congratulated on Twitter a Palestinian athlete, who had prevented from competing in the U.S. but took part in 39th Vodafone Istanbul marathon, on Sunday.
"It was a pleasure to meet @ALQadiPAL and congratulations on running the Istanbul marathon. We will always cherish the Palestinian flag Mohammad carried proudly at the marathon. Turkey-Palestinian friendship will live forever," Ibrahim Kalin said in a tweet which was shared both in Turkish and English languages.
Mohammad al-Qadi, who has competed in numerous international marathons, was unable to run the Oct. 8 Chicago marathon because he was denied entry by U.S authorities.
Afterwards, Ibrahim Kalin, an aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, intervened and issued an invite to Qadi, to run the Istanbul marathon on Nov. 12.
He finished Sunday's race in 21st place after a 4:12:40 run.
The Istanbul marathon, which is the only foot race to cross from Asia to Europe, has been organized every year since 1979.
This year's theme for race was "We are running for the future of our children".
The marathon hosted 86 elite athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, France, Serbia, Lithuania and Turkey.
In the women's category, Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich ranked first, while French athlete of Kenyan origin Abraham Kiprotich won the men's marathon.