POSTED: November 23rd 2008

Istanbul considers 2020 bid

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT/ Sports Features Communications

ISTANBUL, TURKEY: The European Olympic Committees' 37th General Assembly gets off to an exciting start with Turkish President Abdullah Gul telling the delegations that Istanbul once again is planning to throw their hat into the 2020 bid race.

The President said: "Istanbul is getting ready to become a candidate for 2020 Olympic Games. We will mobilize all our capabilities to host the games.

"I had the chance of visiting Armenia for the first time and a sports event gave me this opportunity. It was the best example of sports creating new grounds of dialogue among nations. The Games is one of the oldest and most important driving forces of friendly and peaceful relations among countries and their nations," he said.

To back this up, Turkish State Minister Murat Basesgioglu, spoke to the attendees, noting that the hosting of the General Assembly falls on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TMOK).

"Turkey is willing to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Istanbul," he confirmed.

The EOC Assembly has been a prime occasion for Olympic bid lobbying with teams from the four 2016 bid cities all in attendance to lobby the powerbase group of the Olympic Movement. Chicago, Madrid, Rio and Tokyo were all staging presentations to network the European group of more than 20 IOC members attending the meeting at the Hilton Exhibition Center.

This is the last chance for the cities to reach out to such a compact European audience.

The EOC secretariat based in Rome, Italy comprises 49 National Olympic Committees from the continent of Europe and is widely seen in Olympic bid circles as the powerbase of Olympic lobbying.

The vote for the 2016 Olympic bid city will be held at the 121st IOC Session and Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2009.

Keywords · European Olympic Committees · Turkish Olympic Committee · 2016 Bid Cities · 2020 Bid City · Murat Basesgioglu · Abdullah Gul · Olympic Bid

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