POSTED: January 12th 2012

Istanbul 2020 gets government boost and gains speed for the YOG

The Bosphorus Strait connects Europe and Asia / Turkish Culture and Tourism Office-Washington D.C.
The Bosphorus Strait connects Europe and Asia / Turkish Culture and Tourism Office-Washington D.C.

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: The Istanbul 2020 bid received solid backing from the Turkish government and is gaining strength as their top level team arrives in Innsbruck for the 2012 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

Turkey’s Minister of Sport, Suat Kılıç, said, “The Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made the Olympic Games a personal priority and a national imperative. Turkey’s bid to bring the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Istanbul is a mission that has the full support of the government; it is a mission that should also be embraced by all political parties and indeed by the entire nation”.

The Istanbul delegation at the YOG will comprise Professor Ugur Erdener, IOC member, President of the World Archery Federation and President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, Hasan Arat, Vice President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, and Ali Kiremitçioğlu, a leading figure in the international marketing and communications industry. A number of Olympic consultants are on board namely Craig McLatchey’s EKS, Jon Tibbs’ JTA and Scott Givens’ FiveCurrents.

Arat said, “Working with the finest Turkish and international technical and Olympic experts, our focus over the last few months has been on preparing a really exciting and innovative concept that works for Istanbul and Turkey but one that also meets the needs and highest standards of the Olympic Movement in the 21st Century. This will be reflected in our Applicant City file which we are on track to submit to the IOC on 15 February.”

Fifth bid

This makes the fifth bid attempt by the Turkish capital after jumping into the race for 2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens), 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London) so they enter this bid race like PyeongChang for their third bid having much of their foundation already laid out.

Arat noted, “After a decade of growth, and progress, and lessons learned, the time is now right for Istanbul 2020. Turkey is better placed than ever before to offer the IOC the chance to cross a new frontier. Istanbul 2020 can connect the Olympic Movement to a new territory with unique cultural and economic potential where Asia and Europe meet.

“Turkey is in a period of remarkable economic, social and sporting development. Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a critical opportunity for us to accelerate and sustain that development."

IOC member Erdener added, “I have been proud to represent Turkey in the Olympic Movement for many years and I am convinced that this will be the most serious and credible bid Turkey has ever produced. With the wholehearted commitment from the government and the compelling concept that the bid committee is developing, I believe we have a really powerful story to share with the Olympic family.”

Istanbul is in the 2020 summer games race with five other very high profile candidates Baku, Doha, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo to host the summer Olympics.

The final decision will take place at the IOC session in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013.

Keywords · Istanbul 2020 · Olympic bidding · Recep Tayyip Erdogan · Ugur Erdener · Hasan Arat · Suat Kılıç ·

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