Istanbul Mayor criticizes minister tweets for reactions to Olympic bid
DHA PhotoSports Minister Suat Kılıç’s tweets criticizing those who gloated at Turkey’s unsuccessful bid to host 2020 Olympic Games in Istanbul are “statements that defeat the purpose,” Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş said during a televised interview on Sept. 10.
“I view these statements as excessive and beyond what is necessary. The members of the International Olympic Committee [IOC] are already demanding reports over our people’s opinion regarding the Games. It is not possible for everyone to unite in one decision in a democratic country.
Such attitudes [gloating at Turkey’s loss] caused by anger toward the government are not good. One must consider the nation’s interests,” Topbaş told a television interview on Habertürk.
He also said that the project presented to the Olympic Committee will be largely carried out with an estimated cost of $19.2 billion, even though Istanbul lost its 2020 Olympic bid. “In fact we didn’t lose. We are ambitious, Turkey has made a new move,” said Topbaş.
The Istanbul mayor also agreed with criticisms that the “sports” theme was lacking in Turkey’s film presentation of Istanbul to the committee.
“I would have preferred to see the Eurasia Marathon included [in the film]. The theme was weak, it was not very bad but it could have been better,” said Topbaş.
In reply to a question regarding his candidacy for the mayoral position of Istanbul Municipality in the upcoming local elections, Topbaş said he was not only a mayor, but he was also a man who “has been walking with the prime minister for the past 40 years.” He added that politicians should be focusing on the future of the country and not their own careers.
‘Gezi wasn’t a factor in Istanbul’s bid’
Meanwhile, Mayor Topbaş also claimed that the Gezi Park events did not play a major part in Turkey’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
He said the Turkey 2020 Bid Committee had not been questioned by the IOC on matters related to the Gezi Park events at all.
“While it may have been considered a controversial subject, the [Gezi incidents] were not influential [in the decision-making process]. We had an application to host the Olympic Games supported by the opposition, which was important. They [the IOC] touched on the Syria issue and also focused on the doping issue,” said Topbaş.