POSTED: Monday August 12th 2013


Bid reiterates pledge to Turkey’s huge youth population on UN International Youth Day

Istanbul; 12 August 2013: Istanbul 2020 today marked UN International Youth Day by reaffirming its commitment to engaging the nation’s tens of millions of young people and hundreds of millions more across the Olympic Movement, should Turkey become the first nation with nearly 50% of the population under-25 years old to be awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

UN International Youth Day aims to recognise the efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing a global society, and to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities, objectives which hold a particular relevance for Turkey and the surrounding region. Turkey has the youngest population in Europe and produces around 700,000 university graduates annually. Empowering these young people to achieve their full potential has been identified as a strategic national priority by the government, and a core motivation for the Istanbul 2020 bid.

Speaking from the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Hasan Arat, Chairman of the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee, said:

“Nearly 50% of Turkey’s population is under the age of 25, so every year UN International Youth Day is a very special day for my country. This year’s theme is ‘Moving Development Forward’, and I believe that hosting the Games in Istanbul in 2020 will move development forward not only for Turkey’s young population but for the entire region for generations to come.

“As the IOC rightly identified at the Copenhagen Congress in 2009, this generation of well-educated, aspirational young people is a global phenomenon. I believe that the youth of the world are at the heart of the Olympic Movement, and that is why we have made them the heart of our bid. Istanbul 2020 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Turkey and the Olympic Movement to guarantee a bright future for the youth of the world, and make sure our young people are making the right decisions right now.”

Istanbul 2020 has a meticulously planned venue strategy that maximises legacy yield and ensures a wealth of new low and no-cost sports facilities are made available to the community. In addition, wide-reaching entrepreneurial and educational programmes will attract a new generation of ambitious young talent into the sports industry.

Çağla Büyükakçay, Turkey’s number one female tennis player, expressed just how much hosting the Games means to young people in Turkey:

“Today, half the population is celebrating UN International Youth Day with the Olympic dream in our hearts. We believe in the power of sport to unlock our full potential, and we believe in Istanbul 2020. Our city will deliver in 2020, and my dream is to be there as an Olympian when Istanbul brings the young people of the world together.”

Notes to Editors:
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Keywords · Istanbul 2020 · Hasan Arat · Olympic bidding · International Youth Day

Name: Istanbul 2020 Media Desk
Organization: Istanbul 2020 Olympic Bid

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