TCF to Israel Gelfer: you must respect democracy

5/24/2006 – That is what the Turkish Chess Federation is demanding of Israel Gelfer, the member of FIDE Executive Board who sharply attacked the Right Move campaign and Ali Nihat Yazici, the Turkish candidate for Vice Presidency. Murat Kul, the Deputy President of TCF, sent us the following reply.

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I could not help noticing the open letter by Israel Gelfer which accuses The Right Move (TRM), our President Mr.Yazici and even the Turkish Chess Federation, of “dirty and low level campaigning”, published on the Chess Fidelity web site


Murat Kul, European Women's Champion Ekaterina Atalik, Ali Nihat Yazici

My original reaction was not to waste time with somebody who obviously has made so many statements full of half-truths and inaccuracies. I would like to answer the parts directly related to my President and Federation.

I have been following the TRM campaign and also the Chess Fidelity campaign. In the last three years, we have been creating fantastic development of chess in Turkey. As far as I see everybody appreciates that in the chess world.

On the other hand also as far as I know Mr Gelfer is working as an employee in FIDE who is therefore also paid by my federation. First of all, I cannot believe that in a normal international institution such as FIDE, an employee attacks one of the electoral candidates. That is one of the reasons why Mr.Yazici, our eminent president, had decided to run against the current management and why we have given him full support. Not only us as TCF Board but also the Government of Turkey and the country give him full support. You will see the value of this support in Turin.

My answers on the topics where our names were mentioned are as follows:

2. a) First of all, our President never said that Javier Ochoa should be expelled from the ECU Board. I have asked Ali Nihat personally for clarification by phone. We still believe that the things that happened in Calvia to GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili were a clear mistake. But we also believe 100% in democracy.

Only a democratic decision, within the statutes of that organisation, taken by an elected board or general assembly, has the right to expel a member. However, it looks like our employees in FIDE think in a different way. Of course for our Fidelity friends, this sort of behaviour is normal with such management.

2. b) The FIDE Oscar Award website is open for everybody in the world. Even I have used my vote for our players. Did TCF fake anything? Did TCF cheat any rule? In Turkey, we have more than 300,000 people visiting our website. We have published the Chess Oscar Website on the TSF website and the people have voted. What is the wrong with that? Suat Atalik is a national hero. Of course, Turkey and the Turkish Chess Family are very proud of him.

It is very normal and acceptable that our web site visitors visited the Chess Oscar website, and voted for him and for GM Gurevich. Indeed, the shame lies with the current FIDE management, since they do not promote chess in every country as we do. Otherwise, the result would not have happened like that. The same thing happened in the NBA web site. You may be aware that the young Chinese Basketball Player was chosen due to the votes coming from China. NBA was happy with this result. Since their website were promoted not only in USA but also globally. It appears that the Chess Oscar website could not understand this fundamental point.


Murat Kul with the World Under 11 School Champion Cankut Emiroglu and family in Istanbul

2. c) Mr. Gelfer also attempts to create a conflict between Mr. Yazici and Mr. Boris Kutin. Mr. Kutin has accepted that he made a mistake by signing the support letter with the title of ECU President. Also I learned this from my president. You may read this from many sources. The official, unanimous decision of the ECU Board, even accepted by Mr.Kutin was that They have refused that ECU president signature should not be on this support letter.

We hope that the FIDE management respects democracy and the decisions of elected bodies. Also I want to express that I cannot understand Mr. Kutin’s support because following reasons: Mr. Kutin was in Kusadasi, he was giving great compliments to Mr. Yazici, and he called him the grandmaster of chess organisation. Let me remind you that this was on 3rd of April, just 12 days before he has signed this letter.

I have to underline that the success of Turkish Chess is very clear in the last three years. Our leader has decided to sacrifice a great deal of his time and help for the benefit of world chess. As his deputy I have to say that we do not like to waste time with the current management. The change in FIDE to Mr. Kok’s team will be a big success story similar to what has taken place in Turkey these last few years.

Murat KUL
Deputy President of TCF


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