PM to boost Istanbul 2020 bid

PM to boost Istanbul 2020 bid

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
PM to boost Istanbul 2020 bid

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife, Emine Erdoğan, pose with a group of athletes that will represent Turkey in the Olympics following a fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul. A total of 181 Turkish athletes will paticipate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. AA photo

The logo of Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games has been revealed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who will travel to London later this week to promote the city.

“God willing, Turkey will host the 2020 Olympics,” Erdoğan said late July 21 during a fast-breaking dinner he hosted for Turkish athletes going to the London 2012 Olympics.

“We, as the government, are in great lobbying efforts for Istanbul 2020,” he said. “If Turkey wins the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, we would be crowning the year 2023, when Turkey will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the republic.”

The logo for the bid was picked from among five options via a public vote on the campaign’s official website. The theme of the logo is inspired by the traditional Ottoman tulip.

PM to boost Istanbul 2020 bid

The theme of the logo for Istanbul’s bid to host the
2020 Olympic Games is inspired by the
traditional Ottoman tulip.

Hasan Arat, head of the 2020 bid, said in a statement that the logo would help Turkey promote its “dream” of hosting an Olympics that spans Europe and Asia.

Istanbul is bidding, alongside Madrid and Tokyo for the 2020 summer Games, with a decision to be taken by the International Olympic Committee in September 2013.

Official visit to UK

Erdoğan will visit the U.K. on July 26-28, a visit arranged upon an invitation from Erdoğan’s British counterpart, Prime Minister David Cameron, to attend the opening ceremony of the upcoming London Olympics.

In addition to holding official bilateral talks with Cameron and attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics, Erdoğan will also participate in a reception to be hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

During the fast-breaking dinner, Erdoğan noted that a record number of Turkish athletes were to participate in the London Games.

“God willing, we want to return from the Olympics to Turkey with a record number of medals,” the prime minister said.

Istanbul’s Olympic bid suffered a setback in April when Turkey also announced it was bidding for the 2020 Euro football championships, triggering the ire of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC is not sympathetic to the idea of an Olympic host nation holding another major sporting event in the country in the same year. It has warned Turkey it would need to drop its Euro bid if Istanbul, bidding for the fifth time in the last six votes, is awarded the Games next year.

“We believe that having our Prime Minister in London as part of the team sends a powerful message to the Olympic family: ‘Istanbul 2020 is a national priority supported by all levels of government and across the political spectrum,’” said Istanbul bid chief Arat in a statement.