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Istanbul 2020

The BJK Inonu Stadium in Istanbul hosted tens of thousands attendees at an Iron Maiden concert Friday, the last concert the stadium will entertain before construction begins on a new stadium 23 metres north of the BJK Inonu Stadium.

The state-of-the-art, 40,000-seat facility will host rugby sevens should Istanbul be awarded the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games against the backdrop of the Bosphorus.

The BJK Inonu Stadium was in The Times of London’s Top 10 stadiums list, with the new incarnation giving athletes the opportunity to compete in a cutting-edge facility in Europe as they overlook Asia across the Bosphorus. The new stadium has an expected completion date of October 2014.

Istanbul is bidding against Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will select the Host City of the Games at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires 7 September.

The demonstrations grew out of anger over a violent police crackdown of a peaceful environmental protest at Istanbul’s Taksim Square and spread to other Turkish cities. The government said some 1,000 people were detained during the protests. Hundreds were injured in the clashes.

“Despite these recent events, all sections of Turkey remain united in our dream to host our nation’s first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020,” Istanbul 2020 backers said in a statement on Sunday. “The slogan for our Olympic bid is ‘Bridge Together’ and there is a common desire to unite in the Olympic spirit and show the world that we can work together for a better Turkey.”

The bid organisers say they’re monitoring the demonstrations in Istanbul “very carefully’’ and, while they’re buoyed by the “positive community spirit in helping to clean up and repair damage,” the situation remains fluid.

Istanbul is vying with Madrid and Tokyo for the right to stage the 2020 Summer Games.Denis Oswald, a candidate to succeed IOC President Jacques Rogge in September, said on Monday that the protests shouldn’t threaten the bid — at least for now.

“It’s a beginning of a protest that can happen in any democratic country,” the Swiss IOC member and international rowing federation chief said. “For the time being we’ll see how it develops, how important this protest is. We have had that in many countries where we had Olympic Games.

“I don’t think it would necessarily affect the candidature. We are still three months away from the decision. It will depend if this continues and develops, but for the time being I don’t think it’s a real threat for the candidature.”

A senior official at the World Bank praised Turkey’s economic performance in these past years giving a boost to the nation’s economic outlook and reinforcing the bid.

Martin Raiser, the country director for Turkey at the World Bank, spoke in Washington this past week affirming that Turkey has been performing wonderfully since the latest global economic crisis. He also feels that that the country is likely to reach high-income status within the next three years because of its young demographic.

Their desire to host the Games would set off a huge rise in mass sport participation, particularly among the Turkey’s 31 million people under the age of 25. This vision emerges from a stellar decade of economic history.

Raiser said, “Social inclusion is increasing in Turkey mainly thanks to the spread of economic activities.” He was speaking at an event organized by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD), Koç University and the Economic Research Foundation (ERF) where he highlighted that the significant investment in infrastructure and public services that has been made has energised Turkey’s substantial economic growth.

Speaking from the Sport For All Congress, Hasan Arat, Chairman of Istanbul 2020, was thrilled at the news. He said,”This is a welcome endorsement from the World Bank in that it supports the message that we are explaining to the Olympic Movement.

“Turkey’s financial strength ensures that Istanbul 2020 is in a position to deliver a technically excellent Games which will realise the potential of Turkey and the surrounding region’s young people. The government is investing $2.5 billion in 693 sports facilities and 25 new stadia as well as $500 million annually into sports participation and development programmes, regardless of whether Istanbul are awarded the Games.

“This investment will engage the entire nation, making sport more accessible to Turkey’s 31 million young people under the age of 25.”

Ugur Erdener, IOC member and President of the NOC of Turkey, noted on the investment in facilities, “The huge investment into sports infrastructure will benefit all levels of sport participation in Turkey. The National Olympic Training Centre, which is being built this year regardless of the bid outcome, will serve as both an elite and recreational sport resource.

“The Olympic City will serve 600,000 people as a “live, work, play” community. These world-class facilities will create a generation of opportunities for the region’s young people to participate in sport from grass roots, through to elite level.”

Istanbul is bidding against Tokyo and Madrid to host the summer Games and the final decision will be taken on September 7th at the IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Istanbul 2020 will plant one tree for each delegate attending the United Nations Forum of Forests in Istanbul. The number of trees planted in Istanbul since 2011 will reach more than one million after the Forum of Forests.

Just weeks after hosting the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission in the city, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan provided an opening speech for the UN Forum.

Istanbul 2020’s bid plan outlined its strategy to keep in line with having a low-carbon future, as Istanbul is a C-Forty Climate City. The plans also coincide with Turkey’s Master Plan for 2023, which calls for advancements in environmental protection, energy, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban development, accessibility, and social inclusion.

Land reclamation and historical preservation, climate and clean energy, education and engagement, and public access and clean water are the four main environmental priorities touched upon in the Istanbul 2020 Candidature File for the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Turkey’s commitment to sustainable development and Istanbul’s growing role as a centre for discussion in recent years makes it the ideal location to host the 10th edition of the United Nations Forum of Forests,” Istanbul 2020 Chairman Hasan Arat said. “The planting of one million trees for the 9th UN Forum of Forests, and the further planting of trees for each attendee this year, shows the Turkish government’s commitment to the environment – which is one of the key pillars of the Istanbul 2020 legacy plan.

“Turkey’s experience and financial stability will ensure that the environmental intitiatives planned for the Games have a lasting and meaningful legacy for the city, the nation, the region and the entire Olympic Movement.”

The United Nations Forum of Forests has only been held outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York once before – in Istanbul. Delegations from 197 countries will be in attendance at the Forum.

“We plan, through hosting the Games in 2020, to drive our young population to take pride in Istanbul’s unique ecological diversity and to become environmental leaders for young people around the world,” IOC member and National Olympic Committee of Turkey President Ugur Erdener said. “We hope, through hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to become a positive global example of sustainable development.”

The IOC has an “excellent impression” of Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

IOC Vice President Craig Reedie says the Istanbul bid has the strong support of the Turkish government and the business community.

He was speaking Wednesday as the IOC’s evaluation commission wrapped-up a four-day tour to assess the ability to host the games.

Istanbul is competing against Madrid and Tokyo. The full IOC will choose the winner on Sept. 7.

Istanbul’s infrastructure budget of $19.2 billion is considerably higher than either city.

But IOC executive director Gilbert Felli says the IOC is aware the projects Turkey has pledged to build for the Olympics are investments the country will make whether or not it gets the games.

Istanbul is highlighting major improvements to the gridlocked city’s transportation system as part of its bid for the 2020 Olympics.

The bid committee says plans include expanded metro and rail lines and the construction of rail and road tunnels linking the city’s European and Asian sides.

The statement came Tuesday on the third day of the IOC evaluation commission’s four-day assessment of Istanbul’s latest Olympic bid.

The Istanbul committee said most athletes would reach venues in 30 minutes or less, with an average travel time of just 16 minutes.

The proposed infrastructure budget for Istanbul’s fifth bid is $19.2 billion – 10 times higher than Madrid’s $1.9 billion and higher than Tokyo’s $4.9 billion.

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