POSTED: August 1st 2013

Istanbul 2020 stresses importance of French language, Francophones in bid

Istanbul 2020 Chairman, Hasan Arat, with Special Advisor to the Secretary General Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Ousmane Paye, in Paris / Istanbul 2020
Istanbul 2020 Chairman, Hasan Arat, with Special Advisor to the Secretary General Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Ousmane Paye, in Paris / Istanbul 2020

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) In a demonstration of Istanbul 2020’s commitment to promoting the French language and francophone culture throughout the Olympic Movement, Bid Chairman Hasan Arat held meetings in Paris with senior figures from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the French media.

Among the topics discussed in Paris Tuesday was the possible collaborative initiatives aimed at insuring the language of Pierre de Coubertin would be promoted before, during and after the 2020 Games.

“This is one of the most important stops on our busy itinerary: sharing Istanbul 2020’s proposition to the French-speaking world is on of our top priorities,” Arat said. “For European Freanch-speakers, we offer a brand new, unforgettable cultural experience less than three hours away. For those further afield, particularly in Africa, we offer their greatest ever chance of fulfilling their Olympic dreams.

“Istanbul 2020 would embody the unifying values of the Games. Embracing the francophone world is crucial if we are going to stage a truly global celebration of the Olympic Movement’s diversity, universality and inclusivity. This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Pierre de Coubertin, so promoting the French language has taken on even greater symbolic significance for us.”

London 2012 silver-medallist and Benin-born basketball player Isabelle Yacoubou, who just signed a contract with Istanbul’s Fenerbahce, has publicly supported Istanbul 2020. She will be one of France’s key players in the FIBA World Basketball Championships in Istanbul in 2014.

“Istanbul offers a unique setting for hosting major sporting events,” Yacoubou said. “Turkish people have an amazing passion for sport – the atmosphere in stadiums and arenas is always supercharged. The city of Istanbul is an invitation to travel; it’s a cosmopolitan city at the crossroads of cultures. When I move there I’ll be joining lots of international athletes, many from the Francophone world who have chosen Turkey like me. Turkey is preparing to host the Women’s World Basketball Championships next year I hope that by then, Istanbul will have been elected to host the Olympic Games in 2020.”

Yacoubou joins French-speaking footballers Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue of Galatasaray in hoping Istanbul is awarded the Olympics in 2020. Istanbul is bidding against Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will select the Host City at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires 7 September.

Keywords · Coubertin · Istanbul 2020 · Turkey · Yacoubou · Drogba · Eboue · Fenerbahce · Galatasaray · FIBA World Basketball Championships · Francophone · Paris · Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie · France ·

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.