Sport has been at Istanbul's vibrant and varied cultural heart for millennia. Turkey has always been a proud supporter of the Olympic Movement, and for 104 years the National Olympic Committee has promoted Olympism at home and abroad. The passion has always been there; now,for the very first time, it is matched by capability. A robust financial footing and a government that sees sport as the most powerful agent of development are aligned behind a world-class team of domestic and international experts. Turkey is better placed than ever to realise its Olympic dream: Turkey is better placed than ever to realise its Olympic dream: To stage a Games spanning cultures, continents, religions and generations... ...that joins Turkey, the Islamic world and the Olympic Movement for the first time in history in a unifying celebration of sport... ...and propagates lasting harmony and fruitful relationships between them. A fertile environment Every level of government is behind Istanbul 2020. The Games Master Plan augments Turkey's long-term National Sports Plan and promises to accelerate its implementation, and Prime Minister Erdogan has identified the bid as a national imperative. Sport is enshrined in the fabric of Turkish society. The Turkish Constitution actually embraces elements of the Olympic Charter, reflecting a deep-rooted national belief in the power of sport to drive forward lasting positive change. It is every Turkish citizen's constitutional right to quality sports facilities and a healthy lifestyle. The Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring vital projects to the top of the national agenda and create a city that lives and breathes sport. A city primed for Games delivery o Turkey is increasingly viewed as a reliable, credible host for elite sports events. Istanbul is the 2012 European Capital of Sport and can now draw on the experience and human capital of more than 20 major international events, including World Championships, in the last five years. o With more than 30 million visitors to Turkey annually a 200% increase in ten years - Istanbul is the world's seventh most visited city, the seventh most popular tourist destination and the seventh most popular congress city. The friendly and hospitable population has the warmth and the capacity to make the Olympic family welcome in 2020. o Istanbul 2020's bid structure has been designed with continuity in mind: the bid is a working group of the existing Istanbul Olympic Games Preparation Committee, overseen by the Olympic Council. That means the organisations aiming to develop a compelling concept will be the same organisations delivering the Games, ensuring a smooth transition from bidding to hosting. o Political and social support Istanbul attempting to build on the success of Koreans, who have obtained the rights for the 2018 Winter Olympics, after successive failures. The difference is that Pyeongchang came with a competitive record and eventually convinced the IOC to give votes. "In recent years much has changed in Turkey, in terms of infrastructure. We are the only ones built Olympic stadium without having won rights. We have a total of 14 bases Olympic ready. Well why do you think I was many years in this position? I wanted to do something productive for the city" the Turkish official said. Istanbul will be fierce competition again. Rome, Madrid, Tokyo, with Baku and Doha have entered the race that they will know the winner in September 2013, the IOC Congress. "It is a difference from previous years, because then we strongly involved, but I believe that we can win, however we are very optimistic now," concluded Aksoy.
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