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Turkey penalised with largest ever fine

Turkey has been fined today five million US dollars by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council - the largest fine in motorsport history.

The National Sporting Authority of Turkey (TOSFED) and the Organisers of the Turkish Grand Prix (MSO) were found to be in breach of the FIA statutes, the international sporting code and Formula One regulations with a controversial podium ceremony at last month's race in Istanbul.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who was introduced to millions of viewers around the world as the 'President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', presented the winner's trophy to Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa.

Cyprus has been split since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the northern part of the Mediterranean island after a brief, Greek-inspired coup. Only Turkey recognises the north.

The Grand Prix faced risk of being removed from future Formula One calendars, but after an extraordinary meeting of the WMSC today, the governing body decided to fine the event organisers, saying it "has found against [both organisations] on all counts," ordering the TOSFED and MSO to pay a combined total of US$5 million.

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