Mohammad al-Qadi was forced to drop out of Oct. 8 Chicago marathon, but takes up invite to run in Istanbul next month.

A Palestinian athlete denied entry to the U.S. for a race earlier this month has accepted an invitation from Turkey to take part in the Istanbul marathon.

Mohammad al-Qadi, who has run nine international marathons in the last 19 months, was recently unable to run the Oct. 8 Chicago marathon because he was denied entry by the U.S authorities.

Ibrahim Kalin, an aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and presidential spokesperson, intervened and issued an invite to Qadi, who will run the Istanbul Marathon on Nov. 12.

“Come and run in Turkey. Raise the Palestinian flag. Enjoy the beauty of the Turkish landscape. Be our guest,” Kalin tweeted to the runner.

Qadi replied, thanking Kalin and saying he would run the marathon bearing the Palestinian and Turkish flags.

The Istanbul marathon is world’s only road race where people can cross from Asia to Europe. The marathon is an international athletics event organized annually in Istanbul since 1979.

Palestinian athlete barred from US to run in Turkey

AA