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Snooker heads to Antalya for inaugural Turkish Masters in 2021

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Welsh legend Mark Williams in action (credit:World Snooker)

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Judd Trump is the top seed (Photo by John Walton/PA Images)

Turkey will host a snooker ranking tournament for the first time when the Turkish Masters takes place in Antalya later this year.

The lucrative new event will feature 64 players competing for £500,000 in prize money from September 27 to October 3, subject to guidelines relating to travel.

WST has agreed a four-year deal with the Turkish Billiards Federation and Big Break Promotions to stage the Turkish Masters every season until at least 2024/2025.

The overall prize fund, which is greater than the Home Nations events, German Masters and European Masters totals last season, is expected to increase year-on-year.

A qualifying round will be staged in August with players needing to win one match to make it to the final stages.

Two Turkish wildcards will also be handed places in the main event, which will be televised by a range of broadcasters worldwide.

New WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “We are thrilled to continue snooker’s international expansion by staging a world ranking event in Turkey for the first time.

“Over the past decade we have made dramatic progress in becoming a truly global sport, and to enter a brand new territory is a further step on that journey.

“We have tracked the growth in interest in snooker in Turkey in terms of television viewing figures and digital audience.

“This new event will provide a focal point for our sport in the region and it will help us to develop our strategy of building foundations across Europe.

“We are particularly excited to stage this event in Antalya because of the status of the city as an outstanding tourism destination.

“We have no doubt that the world’s leading players will be delighted with the chance to visit this stunning location while competing for a prestigious title and significant prize money, particularly given the challenges they have faced over the past year.

“We look forward to working with our new partners in Turkey on this fantastic project. To stage a major sporting event in Antalya will help develop the profile of the city.”