POSTED: February 15th 2012

Istanbul 2020: Fresh new approach with a new bid for a new Turkey

Hasan Arat (centre) hands the Application File to Jacqueline Barrett of the IOC, accompanied by the Istanbul 2020 delegation / Istanbul 2020
Hasan Arat (centre) hands the Application File to Jacqueline Barrett of the IOC, accompanied by the Istanbul 2020 delegation / Istanbul 2020

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: The Istanbul 2020 delegation met today at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters with Jacqueline Barrett, IOC Head of Bid City Relations, to submit their latest proposal to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

This makes Istanbul’s fifth bid and this time the message is loud and clear that the plan to host the Games offers “a new bid for a new Turkey”.

Due to the unique position of the city the Istanbul bid could bring a first to the Olympic Movement by spanning two continents both Europe and Asia.

Vice President of the Turkish NOC, Hasan Arat,said, “The last decade has been a period of spectacular development for Turkey; now we are ready to deliver a truly world-class Games. Our dramatically enhanced Application File is the culmination of 20 years’ bidding experience with lessons learned and improvements made along every step of the way.

“The time is right for Istanbul: we have a world-class team of domestic and international experts, with the unequivocal backing of every level of government, and a firm financial footing in Europe’s fastest-growing economy. Turkey is better placed than ever to realise its Olympic dream.”

“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has identified Istanbul 2020 as a personal and strategic imperative. Our unique Olympic Law ensures Games delivery is a national priority and the Olympic Charter is even incorporated into our Constitution. 87% of people in Istanbul want to see the Games come to their city and our young, dynamic population is desperate for more chances to play and stay in sport. Turkey wants the Games; and we are ready for the challenge.

The Istanbul bid will launch their website at tomorrow and also has a Twitter feed, @2020_istanbul and Facebook page set up.

Arat added, “Turkey is a very youthful country. There are 20 million under-20s, and nearly half the population is under 25. We aim to reignite an entire generation’s passion for Olympism by mobilising our young people in support of the Games. Digital media is going to be crucial to that, and we are looking to start harnessing their enthusiasm right away.”

Istanbul is in the race with Baku, Doha, Madrid, and Tokyo as Rome has just pulled out of the 2020 campaign. The final vote will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7, 2013 at the IOC Session.

Keywords · Istanbul 2020 · Hasan Arat · Jacqueline Barrett · Olympic bidding

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