POSTED: March 22nd 2012

Updated: Turkey has potentially three key bids in the mix for 2020

Turk Telecom Arena in Istanbul / SFC
Turk Telecom Arena in Istanbul / SFC

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan speaking up at the UEFA Congress taking place in Istanbul and remarked that he would like to see the European Championships for 2020 in the city.

Given that Istanbul is bidding for the summer Games of 2020 and this is their 5th bid, the city is pulling out all the stops to land the IOC vote this time. Given the developments in the economy and the strong tourism factor the bid has its strongest potential yet.

Istanbul is bidding against Baku, Doha, Madrid and Tokyo this round for the Olympics and going after two high profile sports events that would be staged in a very short time could put the country under too much hosting stress.

The Istanbul 2020 Olympic bid issued a statement: “Turkey’s President, Prime Minister and Sports Minister have repeatedly reiterated that Istanbul 2020 is a strategic national priority, and a personal passion. Every level of government and every party is aligned behind this bid: the Olympic and Paralympic Games are seen as a crucial stimulus for Turkey’s national development strategy. Should Turkey bid for Euro 2020, that level of commitment will remain guaranteed.”

On the other hand, Eurosport reports that UEFA chief, Michel Platini, spokeup that he would back the Istanbul UEFA bid if the city wasn’t awarded the Olympic Games. He said, "I heard what the prime minister said and we will see what countries present bids. Turkey had a strong bid in 2016 and I think they will be even stronger in 2020.

"Now the only small issue I have in respect to this is that in 2020 Istanbul is also a candidate for the Olympics so if they have the Olympics and the Euros it's maybe a bit of a handful.

"If Istanbul does not get the Olympic Games the Turkish bid will be a stronger bid and one that I will support and one that I will vote for. Last time (for 2016) I did not vote, but this time I will vote, because I believe Turkey should host a Euros."

In a bid to host the 2016 UEFA final Turkey lost by one single vote to France in a very close race.

World Expo

On another note, the Turkish city of Izmir, in the eastern Mediterranean region is in the bidding for the 2020 World Expo and is running against Ayutthaya (Thailand),Yekaterinburg (Russia), (São Paulo, Brazil), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

The proposed dates to hold the Expo would be April 30 – October 31, 2020 and if they were to win this would include the period of the Olympics. They are expecting 39 million people to attend the event should they win.

The host will be decided in November 2013 several months after the 2020 Olympic host city is voted in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013.

Keywords · Istanbul 2020 · Turkey · UEFA · Recep Tayyip Erdogan · Michel Platini

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