Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assured International Olympic Committee (IOC) members that Istanbul can deliver the ideal conditions to host the 2020 Games.
Speaking at a closed dinner given to the IOC Evaluation Commission on the night of March 26, Erdoğan said Istanbul was capable of hosting a remarkable Games.
“You should have no doubts that we will make the necessary conditions in the most ideal, the most perfect way to host the Olympic Games,” Erdoğan said. “The 2020 Istanbul Olympics will be organized in a stronger, more developed and more prosperous Turkey, right ahead of the 2023 targets.”
The prime minister emphasized that the Turkish state had set “major yet reachable targets” for 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Republic. He also described Istanbul as “the city of peace,” saying that hosting the Games in the city would “inspire humanity.”
The dinner came the night before the end of the Evaluation Commission’s four-day visit. The IOC group also visited Tokyo and Madrid earlier this month.
Erdoğan said he could not be neutral about Istanbul, as it is not only the city he was born and raised in but also the one he ran as mayor for one term during the 1990s.
“Istanbul is a generous city,” he added. “It shares its beauty, its richness, its values with everybody.”
The IOC will officially decide the host of the 2020 Games in Buenos Aires in September.