When the torch reached Yorkshire Sebastian Coe proclaimed that “every time somebody picks up that Torch, there’s an extraordinary contribution that sits behind their story. This is exactly what we set out to achieve – and to get the flame to as many people as we could.”
Omani torchbearers nominated by Samsung include the first Arab to scale Mount Everest; the first Arab woman to trek to the North Pole, and the first female rally driver in the Gulf, as well as a founder of an online youth platform, an environmentalist, and a “social advocate” for children with special needs.
But they also included Robert Swift, “a marketing manager from Etisalat” and David Butorac, “a renowned TV industry hero”.
Turkish torchbearers nominated by the company included celebrity nominees – an actress and a rock singer – and sportswomen – the first Turkish woman to compete in the Winter Olympics and a prominent swimmer.
But two-thirds of their nominees were made up of “Journalists Cengiz Semercioğlu and Şelale Kadak … and [unnamed] prominent names from civil society “who made a difference”.”
One of those is “Deniz Yılmaz Atakay, the coordinator of the PKU Family Foundation”
The list in total includes:
“the soloist of Mor ve Ötesi, a music ensemble Harun Tekin, the first sportswoman who represented Turkey at the Winter Olympics Kelime Aydın Çetinkaya, national swimmer Emre Muşluoğlu, columnists Cengiz Semercioğlu and Şelale Kadak, the founder chairman of the Alternative Living Association Ercan Tutal, coordinator of the Family Association of Turkey Deniz Yılmaz Atakay, academic Deniz Nur Ural, education advisor Mustafa Çakıroğlu, cultural manager Tuna Yılmaz and university student Cem Arslan.”