British firms want to bid for Turkey’s Olympic stadiums
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games is seen above. The Olymic facilities will be used for long years with modification, architecture companies say. AA photo
A group of U.K. construction firms with representatives accompanying British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during his visit to Turkey have set their eye on participating in building Turkey’s possible Olympic facilities along with yet-to-be-built stadiums, such as Beşiktaş’s İnönü Stadium.
A successful Olympic Games experience this summer is making U.K. firms even more assertive as they search for local partnerships to join their bid.
“We are talking to Turkey’s bid committee,” said John Barrow, the senior principal of Populus, the sports specialist architecture company that has taken part in the past 10 Olympic Games.
“Through a collaboration with Turkish contractors such as Polimeks and Sembol, which we worked very closely with on a project in Kazakhstan, we can give a transfer of knowledge, which will greatly benefit Turkey not only in their Olympic Games but also long afterwards,” he said.
“Istanbul has by far the best opportunity to win the bid,” he said on Turkey’s chances to win the right to host the 2020 Olympics.
Turkey is bidding to host both the 2020 Olympic Games and the UEFA Football Cup that year.
Looking beyond the games is important, he underlined, mentioning three criteria for facilities to be built in - affordable, lightweight and financially sustainable.
“We are going to do that in London,” he said. “The missing link in Sydney was the park was left without a community afterwards. We are putting a community in the park in London. That is not rocket science, but it works.” He also said such projects needed local partners.
Peter Budd of Arup, another contractor that has been active in Turkey for more than 20 years, underlines the importance of sustainability.
Arup, the builder of Turkmenistan’s Olympic complex, also constructed the aqua-park used at the 2012 Olympic Games.
British Business Minister Michael Fallon, who was also in the U.K., held talks on the issue with the vice mayor of London, Budd said. He said the Olympic aqua-park in London was planned in a way that seats on each side could be reduced after the giant event.
Populous is also interested in building Beşiktaş’s stadium, along with Antalya in southern Turkey.
“Yes, we are in talks with Beşiktaş,” Barrow confirmed.
Beşiktaş postponed plans to renew its İnönü stadium at the beginning of this year due to financial problems. Barrow heralded Türk Telekom Arena, home of rival Galatasaray and built by Turkey’s state-run property developer TOKİ, as an ideal stadium.