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Istanbul's bid is pretty much out the window!


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With the military skirmishes with Syria, there is no way the IOC will pick Istanbul. I predict that the bid will likely be scrapped.

Oh please. The election is still 1-year away; the actual Games are 8 years away. My God, the Korean peninsula has lived on the knife's edge the last 60 years, yet they've had a Summer Olympics, half a World Cup, another Asian Games in 2 years, and a Winter Olympics in 6 -- and you're worried about a border skirmish between a NATO member and a regime that's on its last legs? :rolleyes:

Besides, Seoul is like 30 mi from the South's border with No. Korea; Istanbul is like some 450 mi north of the Syrian border. So?

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With the military skirmishes with Syria, there is no way the IOC will pick Istanbul. I predict that the bid will likely be scrapped.

Not so fast - for all we know, the whole Syrian Crisis may well have been resolved. And as Baron pointed out, there are precedents: Sochi and Seoul are both geographically challenged, to put it diplomatically. As long as there is no realistic prospect of Syrian tanks rolling through the streets of Istanbul, the bid will go ahead and retains a decent chance of winning.

Remember: Japan also is involved in difficult geopolitical situations that could alter its chances of staging the Games.

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Not so fast - for all we know, the whole Syrian Crisis may well have been resolved. And as Baron pointed out, there are precedents: Sochi and Seoul are both geographically challenged, to put it diplomatically. As long as there is no realistic prospect of Syrian tanks rolling through the streets of Istanbul, the bid will go ahead and retains a decent chance of winning.

Remember: Japan also is involved in difficult geopolitical situations that could alter its chances of staging the Games.

Madrid is the new favorite!

(kidding)

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Wow I don;t think that is the IOC's number one priority in picking a winner. Ultimately the IOC will pick the bid it feels as the best suited to host 2020.

No the IOC will elect a city that fits into the agendas of a majority of members.

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It Turkey was to enter into a state of war with Syria it would completely derail their bid. Tokyo would probably win on first ballot with 60+ votes. Not saying Tokyo isn't positioned to win on first ballot as is. But, that is true of pretty much any bid, war equals no Olympics for you. And honestly this is something the Turkish government is thinking about in its actions towards Syria. Probably 15 years ago Turkey would have had no problems sending in the troops.

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With the military skirmishes with Syria, there is no way the IOC will pick Istanbul. I predict that the bid will likely be scrapped.

Thats just silly...Istanbul is pretty far from Syria..i dont think Syria has any interests in picking a fight either...if anything Tokyo is in a scarier position...enemies with North Korea, China...and definitely within striking range...nope silly

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As far as I'm concerned, Erdogan's support for Blasphemy laws at the UN (aligning himself with countries like Pakistan) is much more damaging to the broader image of Turkey than seeing the nation using reasonable force to defend their borders, though of course I doubt the IOC will take such a thing into account.

I agree with most here. If the skirmish doesn't escalate I don't think it'll make a huge difference. Turkey has had ongoing problems on its Eastern borders for years and for the moment, this is just another for them to deal with. And they seem to be acting sensibly so far.

If things get worse and are looking bad this time next year, it could easily kill the bid. This isn't something to be dismissed completely. But for now I'd say Istanbul 2020 has bigger problems; most important of which is convincing the IOC of their technical strengths.

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With NATO starting to draw up plans for an earlier than 2014 withdraw from Afghanistan, now the war that has been brewing since 2001 is finally starting to take shape. Eventually the Sunni Arab world will raise to the antagonism of Iran. The Saudis, Jordanians, Moroccans, Egyptians and Turks have almost had enough, but they all have something to lose. Turkey's western stability and growth, popular protests in Jordan and Morocco and the position of the House of Saud are all intertwined. The last pieces of the puzzle are finally coming to light. Will Israel sit out again like it did during the Gulf War and if it doesn't how will the Israelis work with the governments in Riyahd and Beirut in the war against Syria, Hezbollah and Iran and what will be the future position and status of Iraq combined with Turkish un/willingness to give up territory for the purpose of stability and peace.

The IOC is mindful of Turkey's position. It is far more likely that Turkey is drawn into a war, than Japan.

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. But for now I'd say Istanbul 2020 has bigger problems; most important of which is convincing the IOC of their technical strengths.

Exactly. It isn't going to be easy that to show the IOC voters that it is technically the best of the 3 bids -- because it isn't. Its only drawing card at this point is that geopolitically, it may seem like an auspicious move for the region. That's all.

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Exactly. It isn't going to be easy that to show the IOC voters that it is technically the best of the 3 bids -- because it isn't. Its only drawing card at this point is that geopolitically, it may seem like an auspicious move for the region. That's all.

And when that's all Istanbul has going for it, regional unrest really doesn't help their case.

As others have said, their goose isn't cooked yet, but if tension escalates much at all leading up to the vote, it will be.

sochi is miles away from georgian border while there was a real war there... and u concerning about istanbul 1500 km away from syria?

The Turkey/Syria dispute has been brewing for longer and has the potential to get worse by engulfing the whole region in conflict. I'm not saying it will happen, but the worst case scenario is more volatile than Russia/Georgia.

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The Turkey/Syria dispute has been brewing for longer and has the potential to get worse by engulfing the whole region in conflict. I'm not saying it will happen, but the worst case scenario is more volatile than Russia/Georgia.

Altho the Turkey-Syria problem isn't really of a direct, confrontational one....unlike Russia/Georgia where there is innate animosity between the 2 nations. Syria's troubles are merely spilling over into Turkey...but T&S aren't at each other's throats which R&G more or less are.

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Altho the Turkey-Syria problem isn't really of a direct, confrontational one....unlike Russia/Georgia where there is innate animosity between the 2 nations. Syria's troubles are merely spilling over into Turkey...but T&S aren't at each other's throats which R&G more or less are.

Syrian people an turks are relatives, million of people are relatives in the region with marriages, it wont turn out st like an open war like baron says. altough 100.000 syrians living as refugee in turkey now.

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Syrian people an turks are relatives, million of people are relatives in the region with marriages, it wont turn out st like an open war like baron says. altough 100.000 syrians living as refugee in turkey now.

The turkish nationals living on the border with syria may be relatives...but the rest of the 97% of the population have no blood links..A confrontation wont happen because Syria wont be silly enough to push it...you'd hope...otherwise Turkey with NATO backing wouldnt hesitate..dont forget 1999 when Turkey threatened an open war if Assad didnt expel Ocalan from their borders.....however the way its going.. its only a matter of time that regime is toppled down..

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The turkish nationals living on the border with syria may be relatives...but the rest of the 97% of the population have no blood links..A confrontation wont happen because Syria wont be silly enough to push it...you'd hope...otherwise Turkey with NATO backing wouldnt hesitate..dont forget 1999 when Turkey threatened an open war if Assad didnt expel Ocalan from their borders.....however the way its going.. its only a matter of time that regime is toppled down..

I honestly don't think the Syrians will be sufficiently suicidal to start a war with Turkey. That would definitely end the spell of the Assad regime, if nothing else. Concerning NATO, there is no real appetite to support Turkey beyond mere lip service (from what I can see anyway). NATO states have their hands full with their economic mess (both in the United States and the Eurozone), whilst also having to contend with war fatigue after the Iraq War.

That said, I genuinely don't think the current Turkish government (despite its rhetoric) is going to be so crazy and launch a first strike - they've seen in Iraq what can happen when an outside power attempts to restore order. One can of worms they definitely don't wish to open.

Overall, Istanbul should be able to proceed as scheduled and either eke out a narrow victory over Tokyo or get soundly defeated by it. These are the two most likely scenarios.

I ran a simulation of what would happen if the IOC vote was held today and it was a second-round vote between Tokyo and Istanbul. Before our fellow Turkish posters (do we have Japanese GB members too?) accuse me of bias, I'm potentially more in favour of Istanbul since it would make an interesting choice to technically perfect Tokyo and Japan has had the Winter Games in 1998. However, for the purposes of my simulation, I had to take all kinds of factors into account - no matter how unjustified they may be: I considered the higher technical ratings of Tokyo vis-à-vis Istanbul in previous bid attempts, the "safe choice" factor and greater familiarity, as well as inherent bias in certain regions of the world (and amongst certain members). As of today, Tokyo would win the vote with 57-46 (once the votes of the Spanish delegates who couldn't vote in round 1 are included). I'm happy to discuss the individual votes I presume for either of the two cities.

Of course, all of this has the caveat that the vote will be held a year from now and Istanbul may well roll out one hell of a sprint for the Evaluation Report. However, my simulation does lead me to the conclusion that Tokyo starts with a built-in advantage, as the following factors will play a role:

  • Bias for/against the candidates: Whether it's for religious reasons, disagreements on foreign policy or just plain prejudice, bias both vis-à-vis Japan and Turkey will play a vital role in this election. For instance, I project that the two Chinese IOC members will ultimately fall behind Istanbul, especially given traditionally tense relations between the two countries and comparably warm relations between China and Turkey. Conversely, I project that the Western European members (including Germans and French) will go for Tokyo because it's just so much more familiar and there are anecdotes galore from tourists (undifferentiated as they may be) that talk about traffic chaos in Istanbul, whilst praising the efficiency of the Japanese. Add to that the permanent debate on Turkey's potential EU membership and you have a cocktail for Western European rejection of the Istanbul bid.

  • Selfish motives: As always with IOC members, pure selfishness will play a role as well. Germans and French members are more likely to vote for Tokyo as it will raise the chances of continental Europe to host the Summer Games in 2024. The Chinese may want to torpedo a Tokyo bid to prepare the ground for a European victory in 2024 and a subsequent Shanghai bid for 2028 (in a way, they'd sort of feel entitled to a second edition of the Games - especially since right now, China is the only other name in Asia that is credibly able to host the Games effectively). The North Korean delegate will not support Japan for obvious reasons, whereas the Saudi IOC member will plump for Tokyo due to rivalries between the Saudi Royal Family and the Turkish Republic. The Israeli IOC delegate would probably prefer Spain, but failing that will vote for Tokyo given the strident rhetoric and worsening relations between Turkey and Israel over the past two years or so. Expect the Russian delegates to vote for Istanbul due to cold relations with Japan.

  • Familiarity: Tokyo is known, it's safe (despite Fukushima and a mega-tsunami - after all, it didn't hit Tokyo), technically reliable and it's indeed more evident that the Japanese want these Games. Some IOC members will consider proximity as well. Oceania will vote for Tokyo, given stronger ties to Japan than Turkey - and the sheer proximity between Australia/New Zealand/Fiji and Japan.

  • Miscellaneous: There will be individual members who will vote for Istanbul as it's the New Frontier. Sepp Blatter will be one of them (as much as I dislike him, he's shown a knack for the whole "New Frontier" thing - and since South Africa worked out reasonably well...). Richard Carrión will also be open to that sort of appeal, since he has to think of television rights - and Istanbul offers a much more exciting narrative. That - and Istanbul is quite simply in a better time zone for TV broadcasts.

So, here it is - what the race would result in today! Discuss!

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Interesting ideas. What did you do with Africa, North America, South America and Oceania? Together they have a lot of votes. I don't think they're totally predictable either. I can definitely see some of them voting for Istanbul (US, Canada).

I'm no so sure about Southeast Asia either. It remains to be seen how Islamic nations will rally around Istanbul.

Finally this whole simulation presupposes that all members vote according to international relations and geopolitics. Because the ballots are secret, members do not have to honor their countries' preferences. It's quite possible someone will vote for the cuisine they prefer, the bid spokesperson they prefer or even the technical bid they prefer.

All these hypotheses are guesswork -- especially until we see the Evaluation Report.

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Or there are those pesky switcheroo votes who after the first round, and having discharged their "promises," then vote their real choice in round 2. Those are the ones who really tilt the whole scheme.

But really, since I've visited all 3 cities (granted from a short-stay visitor's point of view), Tokyo would probably be most efficient at it -- but the cost of food, living and goods in Tokyo is also so high that that may be a strong deterrent as well. I think Istanbul could use this as a strong argument that an Istanbul Games would be within reach of thousands more overseas travelers vs. Tokyo, thus an Istanbul Games would attract a more international live audience vs. a very high Japanese-only audience in Tokyo.

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Or there are those pesky switcheroo votes who after the first round, and having discharged their "promises," then vote their real choice in round 2. Those are the ones who really tilt the whole scheme.

But really, since I've visited all 3 cities (granted from a short-stay visitor's point of view), Tokyo would probably be most efficient at it -- but the cost of food, living and goods in Tokyo is also so high that that may be a strong deterrent as well. I think Istanbul could use this as a strong argument that an Istanbul Games would be within reach of thousands more overseas travelers vs. Tokyo, thus an Istanbul Games would attract a more international live audience vs. a very high Japanese-only audience in Tokyo.

Baron, I completely agree with you - the Japanese would provide an innovative, high-tech and futuristic Olympic Games in Tokyo. However, just based on all the things I have heard from friends who have been to Turkey, the country's cost-of-living is quite cheap. It would also not entail a trip to the end of the world (figuratively speaking), as the country's central position between Europe and Asia proper puts within the perimetre of three markets (Europe, Asia and Northern Africa). Japan would be more interesting for the North and South Americans, as well as the Far Easterners.

Yes, the turncoat votes are usually the ones that decide a race. But my simulation would suggest that Tokyo certainly starts with an inherent advantage in the IOC. That doesn't mean that it's insurmountable - it's just gonna be a lot of work for the Istanbul team.

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I honestly don't think the Syrians will be sufficiently suicidal to start a war with Turkey. That would definitely end the spell of the Assad regime, if nothing else. Concerning NATO, there is no real appetite to support Turkey beyond mere lip service (from what I can see anyway). NATO states have their hands full with their economic mess (both in the United States and the Eurozone), whilst also having to contend with war fatigue after the Iraq War.

That said, I genuinely don't think the current Turkish government (despite its rhetoric) is going to be so crazy and launch a first strike - they've seen in Iraq what can happen when an outside power attempts to restore order. One can of worms they definitely don't wish to open.

Overall, Istanbul should be able to proceed as scheduled and either eke out a narrow victory over Tokyo or get soundly defeated by it. These are the two most likely scenarios.

I ran a simulation of what would happen if the IOC vote was held today and it was a second-round vote between Tokyo and Istanbul. Before our fellow Turkish posters (do we have Japanese GB members too?) accuse me of bias, I'm potentially more in favour of Istanbul since it would make an interesting choice to technically perfect Tokyo and Japan has had the Winter Games in 1998. However, for the purposes of my simulation, I had to take all kinds of factors into account - no matter how unjustified they may be: I considered the higher technical ratings of Tokyo vis-à-vis Istanbul in previous bid attempts, the "safe choice" factor and greater familiarity, as well as inherent bias in certain regions of the world (and amongst certain members). As of today, Tokyo would win the vote with 57-46 (once the votes of the Spanish delegates who couldn't vote in round 1 are included). I'm happy to discuss the individual votes I presume for either of the two cities.

Of course, all of this has the caveat that the vote will be held a year from now and Istanbul may well roll out one hell of a sprint for the Evaluation Report. However, my simulation does lead me to the conclusion that Tokyo starts with a built-in advantage, as the following factors will play a role:

  • Bias for/against the candidates: Whether it's for religious reasons, disagreements on foreign policy or just plain prejudice, bias both vis-à-vis Japan and Turkey will play a vital role in this election. For instance, I project that the two Chinese IOC members will ultimately fall behind Istanbul, especially given traditionally tense relations between the two countries and comparably warm relations between China and Turkey. Conversely, I project that the Western European members (including Germans and French) will go for Tokyo because it's just so much more familiar and there are anecdotes galore from tourists (undifferentiated as they may be) that talk about traffic chaos in Istanbul, whilst praising the efficiency of the Japanese. Add to that the permanent debate on Turkey's potential EU membership and you have a cocktail for Western European rejection of the Istanbul bid.

  • Selfish motives: As always with IOC members, pure selfishness will play a role as well. Germans and French members are more likely to vote for Tokyo as it will raise the chances of continental Europe to host the Summer Games in 2024. The Chinese may want to torpedo a Tokyo bid to prepare the ground for a European victory in 2024 and a subsequent Shanghai bid for 2028 (in a way, they'd sort of feel entitled to a second edition of the Games - especially since right now, China is the only other name in Asia that is credibly able to host the Games effectively). The North Korean delegate will not support Japan for obvious reasons, whereas the Saudi IOC member will plump for Tokyo due to rivalries between the Saudi Royal Family and the Turkish Republic. The Israeli IOC delegate would probably prefer Spain, but failing that will vote for Tokyo given the strident rhetoric and worsening relations between Turkey and Israel over the past two years or so. Expect the Russian delegates to vote for Istanbul due to cold relations with Japan.

  • Familiarity: Tokyo is known, it's safe (despite Fukushima and a mega-tsunami - after all, it didn't hit Tokyo), technically reliable and it's indeed more evident that the Japanese want these Games. Some IOC members will consider proximity as well. Oceania will vote for Tokyo, given stronger ties to Japan than Turkey - and the sheer proximity between Australia/New Zealand/Fiji and Japan.

  • Miscellaneous: There will be individual members who will vote for Istanbul as it's the New Frontier. Sepp Blatter will be one of them (as much as I dislike him, he's shown a knack for the whole "New Frontier" thing - and since South Africa worked out reasonably well...). Richard Carrión will also be open to that sort of appeal, since he has to think of television rights - and Istanbul offers a much more exciting narrative. That - and Istanbul is quite simply in a better time zone for TV broadcasts.

So, here it is - what the race would result in today! Discuss!

Excellent analysis, plusbrilliantsexploits. Spot on!...

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