Originally from Güzelyurt, Birkan Uzun who lives in Seattle in the USA, reached the summit of Mount Vinson, which is the highest peak in Antarctica with an altitude of 4,892 meters (16,050 ft) on December 16 and waved the TRNC flag.
The 28-year-old climber told TAK news agency that the goal of climbing the summit of Mount Vinson in Antarctica constitutes the fifth leg of the “Seven Summits” project, which includes climbing the highest mountain of each of the seven continents of the world. Uzun said, “It is a very proud feeling to be able to fly the TRNC flag at the summit, I wanted to thank the country I grew up in.“
Uzun, who works as an investment consultant in a private firm in Seattle, shared on social media with his photo and video of him waving the TRNC flag from the summit of Mount Vinson, and said, “On December 16, the highest point of Antarctica (4,892m) Vinson Mountain. By reaching the summit, I have successfully completed the fifth leg of my Seven Summits project.”
Uzun, who shared the video from the camp on Mount Vinson after successfully climbing to the summit with a team of five, said, “Here, I am explaining about this flag, the TRNC, to anyone who does not know this flag. We have lived under embargoes for years, we continue to live [under embargoes], but the message I want to give you is; Whatever your goal is, if you put your mind to it, you can definitely achieve it. Embargoes cannot prevent this. Everything ends in mind and heart. If you really want something, nothing can stand in your way. Wherever you look in the world, you can see successful Turkish Cypriots. The world may not know this, but it will. We are gradually continuing to promote our country with our achievements and I am very happy and proud to be able to contribute to this.”
Uzun said that he was dedicating this climb to his grandfather who passed away this year. “This climb was for my grandfather Celal Sirkecioğlu, whom I loved dearly and passed away this year,” he said.
He went on to say: “I am also proud to be the first Turkish Cypriot and Cypriot to climb Mount Vinson. It is a privilege for me to be able to fly our country’s flag at the summit and show our people that they can achieve any of their goals, big or small, with perseverance, determination and faith.”
Uzuen said that the climb had been difficult due to the pain he experienced following the back surgery he had last year, Uzun said that reaching the summit was a proud moment, adding, “The climb was not easy due to the extreme cold weather, strong wind and the pains I had due to the back surgery I had last year, but these are just to be there. It’s a small price to pay for. I’ve reached the top, and I’m proud of myself. A big thank you to my family, friends and sponsors!” Uzun said.