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Gül to visit France for İzmir EXPO 2015 bid

İZMİR – Turkish Daily News | 11/24/2007 12:00:00 AM |

President Abdullah Gül will travel to France Sunday to participate in the general assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) as part of İzmir's third presentation to the bureau.Gül will

President Abdullah Gül will travel to France Sunday to participate in the general assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) as part of İzmir's third presentation to the bureau.Gül will deliver a speech Monday at the general assembly about İzmir's candidacy for EXPO 2015, a world fair whose location for 2015 has not yet been decided. State Minister Mehmet Aydın will accompany Gül.  The election to decide which city will host EXPO 2015 will be held in March 2008 in Paris. İzmir and Milan are the candidates bidding to host the event. The two cities are trying to woo delegates at the BIE General Assembly meeting. EXPO, which was first held in 1851 in London, runs for six months. Despite the fact that there is no commercial objective, some 80 million tourists are expected to visit İzmir thanks to EXPO. İzmir is competing with Italy's Milan to host the event.

The winning city will be announced in March. İzmir will make its presentation with a 100-member delegation including members of the press, EXPO 2015 Executive Committee members and bureaucrats, including State Minister Mehmet Aydın, Minister of Health Recep Akdağ and President Abdullah Gül. Gül and Greater İzmir Municipality Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu will make speeches during the presentation to ask for votes. Head of Harvard Genetic and Complex Illnesses Department Professor Gökhan Hotamışlıgil will speak in favor of İzmir's health theme. French writer Marc Levy, grandson of Levy Bairacli, the Jewish businessman who built the historic elevator in İzmir, will make a presentation on İzmir. Bairacli's elevator was built in 1907 and is now one of the most prestigious attractions in the city and the site of restaurants and cafes that boast a beautiful panoramic view of the cityIn addition to the speeches, the presentation will include shadow dances and a three-dimensional projection of İnciraltı, where the EXPO is planned. Milan will take the stage after İzmir's presentation. The host city of the smaller EXPO in 2012 will also be chosen during the general assembly meeting. The candidates are Wroclaw, Poland; Yeosu, South Korea; and Tangier, Morocco. The Turkish Embassy in Paris will host Gül for dinner. The president will be unable to meet with his French counterpart, Nicholas Sarkozy, who will be abroad at the time, but Gül is expected to meet with French Prime Minister François Fillon. 

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