Turkey sets out 2020 stall

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Suat Kilic, Minister of Youth and Sport for Turkey, has unveiled Istanbul 2020's Application File at a packed press conference, with a promise to maximise the Olympic and Paralympic Games' potential to be a uniting force.

Drawing its inspiration from the iconic Bosphorus bridge, a traditional symbol for uniting cultures and continents, the Application File tables an innovative offer to the Olympic Movement. Istanbul 2020 aims to create a legacy of harmony across the region and throughout the Olympic Movement by harnessing the promise of Turkeys young population, its robust economy, national support for the bid, and a fusion of ancient history with modern infrastructure. Suat Kılıç said the Application Files offer to the Olympic Movement comes with the full, unequivocal support of the people of Turkey and every level of government. Istanbul 2020 is uniting the nation behind the bid. The Application File makes it clear to the whole world that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a national priority. Already, 87% of people in Istanbul have said they want to host Turkeys first ever Games, in 2020. Their passion is echoed by a government dedicated to making the nations Olympic dream a reality – from the President and Prime Minister, across opposition parties, right through to the municipal authorities. The Master Plan comprises four venue zones, each aligned with the citys ambitious strategic development plan. Of the 36 venues, 11 are in place and a further 10 are already planned to meet community and elite training requirements. There will be five temporary venues, with 10 additional state–of–the–art permanent venues which will place Istanbul firmly at world sports top table. Hasan Arat, a leading member of the Istanbul bid, Vice President of the Turkish NOC and a prominent businessman, underlined Istanbul 2020s role as an enabler for profound, positive change in Turkey:Istanbul 2020 is uniting our designs for the future of the city and for the development of sport in Turkey. The Games will accelerate and augment implementation of existing programmes, and stimulate and focus a range of new ones. That way, we have been able to guarantee the long–term environmental, social and economic sustainability of our concept. Istanbul is a city that is weaving state–of–the–art development around ancient monuments. For the last seven years, there has been an average spend of $1. 2bn on transport infrastructure upgrades in Istanbul. With economic growth of 8. 3% in 2011, this trend of rapid development is set to continue. Now we offer the efficiency and convenience expected of every world–class city, set against a stunning backdrop which very few can match. Turkey is a new and exciting player in a traditional market. One of the driving forces behind Turkeys economic growth is a young, dynamic and highly ambitious population. Ugur Erdener, IOC member and president of the NOC of Turkey underlined the rare opportunity it offers the Olympic Movement:Istanbul 2020 is uniting our youth – mobilising young people in support of the Games and the Olympic ideals. There are 20 million under–20s in Turkey and nearly 50% of the population is under 25. Istanbul 2020 will connect young people globally with an inclusive digital experience and help reignite an entire generations passion for Olympism. We are developing an ambitious programme of educational and entrepreneurial programmes that will give young people from all over the world the chance to play an active role in Games delivery and legacy management. These programmes will resonate not just in Turkey, but throughout the Olympic Movement. Hasan Arat finished by emphasising the cohesion behind the Application Files blueprint:Our bid team is integrated with the existing Istanbul Olympic Games Preparation Committee overseen by an empowered Olympic Council. That means budget is already assigned, top–level leadership is in place and the experienced human capital is ready to be activated. This alignment ensures that, should we win the honour of hosting the Games, the IOC would be working with the people they have grown to know and trust during the application process. The full Application File can now be found online at: http://www. istanbul2020. com. tr/

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