Fencing: Turkish sporting pioneer Cambel dies aged 97

Fencer Halet Cambel, cited as an inspiration for Turkish sportswomen, has died aged 97, The Times of London announced.

Cambel, who was widowed in 2008 and had no children, represented Turkey in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and was notable for declining an invitation from a German female swimmer to have a personal meeting with Nazi Germany's leader Adolf Hitler.

"She told us 'I will introduce you to Hitler'. But we just told her not to.

"We Turks had no illusions about the Nazis. We said that we would never have come to Berlin if our government had not told us to do so," she said.

Cambel was taught to fence by a Russian emigre Alexander Nadolsky after she became interested in the sport through reading books about German knights while she was growing up in Berlin where her father was Turkish military attache.

"The German books I read contained stories about German knights. I was very impressed by them," she said.

She failed to medal in Berlin and retired from the sport, going on to become a renowned archaeologist.