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Istanbul Refrains From 5th Consecutive Olympic Bid - Will Bid For 2020 Games Instead

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Istanbul's "bid until we win" Olympic law will take a short break and the Turkish city will refrain from bidding for the 2016 Olympic Games according to a letter sent by the President of Turkey's National Olympic Committee to the IOC's President Jacques Rogge today.

"This was not an easy decision to take", said President Togay Bayatly of the Turkish Olympic Committee.

Istanbul has applied for the past four consecutive Summer Games bids, twice making the short-list and having its best finish of fourth place in its bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. Turkey has set up a permanent Olympic Bid Committee and has passed a law stating that Istanbul shall bid for the Olympic Games until it is successful. The Ataturk Olympic Stadium has already been built and stands ready to welcome the Games.

"Let me assure you of our continued dedication to staging an exemplary edition of the Games in Istanbul. The decision is not due to any lack of eagerness or any reservations about the assets of our city on the part of any of the concerned bodies.

"There are many ongoing infrastructure investments in the city to be finalized in matter of a few years. We are convinced that such investment, in material, as well as organizational and human terms, is basic to the grand celebration of the Olympic Games that we envision.

Despite recent general elections in Turkey that resulted in a new Minister in Charge of Sports, the committment and dedication to the Olympic movement still remains.

"...Istanbul will apply for hosting the 2020 Olympic Games with renewed vigor. Until then, it will concentrate on providing conclusive evidence of its infrastructure, of its human and organizational capacity to fulfill its share of the Olympic mission."

Applications for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games are due into the IOC today. Write or read comments about this article

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