POSTED: August 3rd 2012
Istanbul 2020: Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan pledges to redouble government backing for bid
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
August 3 - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came back particularly enthused after his trip to London 20120 to rally the team and the 2020 summer Games campaign with a pledge to redouble the goverment support for the bid.
Erdogan addressed the nation on television after his inspirational three day visit to London. The Prime Minister met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Dr. Jacques Rogge and a number of IOC members, attended the opening ceremony and cheered on the Turkish Team at several sports events.
He said to President Rogge, “I have always had the Olympic flame in my heart. My dream is to have it in my hands.”
Seeing the impact on the city first person served to fan the Prime Minister's Olympic Dream to finally host the 2020 summer Games and he said in the address to the nation,“Every year Turkey’s profile increases as a host of international sports events and as a nation able to achieve success on the international stage - the number of athletes we have brought to London 2012 represents the next big step forward in this journey.
“This is our fifth bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but this time we are better placed than ever before to succeed. The Games in Istanbul would surely be one of the most spectacular in Olympic history and Turkey would use the light of the Olympic flame as a symbol of peace in the region.
"I believe that as long as Turkey’s economy remains strong, as long as our nation continues to champion democracy and as long cities like Istanbul continue to grow and advance then we can reach the national goal of hosting an unforgettable 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Istanbul is bidding against Tokyo and Madrid to host the summer Games in 2020. The final vote will take place at the IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7th of 2013.
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