Turkey says 100,000-person stadium to be built in Haydarpaşa for Olympic Games

Turkey says 100,000-person stadium to be built in Haydarpaşa for Olympic Games

A group of inspectors from the International Olympic Committee is visiting İstanbul this week for the city’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo: Cihan)

March 26, 2013, Tuesday/ 17:13:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç provided some details about İstanbul's 2020 Olympic bid, including plans for a 100,000-person temporary stadium to be constructed in the Haydarpaşa neighborhood of İstanbul's Kadıköy district.

İstanbul's candidacy to host the 2020 Summer Olympics was officially announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 13, 2011.

Turkey is the only candidate country whose national government has submitted a guarantee letter to the IOC, demonstrating its full support for the city's bid. The other two candidate cities for the 2020 games are Madrid and Tokyo. The Turkish state submitted a letter to the organization bearing the signatures of Prime Minister Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gül and Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek.

The winning bid will be announced by the IOC on Sept. 7, 2013, at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

Describing Turkey's candidacy process at a press conference held at the Ataköy Olympiad House on Monday, Minister Kılıç stated that if Turkey's bid is successful the ministry plans to establish a temporary stadium in Haydarpaşa, a neighborhood on the Asian side of İstanbul, which will accommodate 100,000 people. It will be the site of a magnificent opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in which the spectators will be able to enjoy seeing the famous Kız Kulesi (Maiden's Tower), the panorama of the historic peninsula, the center of ancient İstanbul, and the Bosporus at the same time.

Stating that İstanbul is the strongest candidate bidding for the games, Kılıç noted that İstanbul is a unique city in that the spectators attending the ceremony held on the Asian side of the city will have the opportunity to see another continent on the other side of the city. He added that Turkey is very enthusiastic and is making a great effort to host the Olympic Games.

Kılıç also stated that they declared a total of 36 sports facilities in Turkey's application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “Eleven of those declared facilities already exist while 25 of them will newly be established,” Kılıç said. Noting that the ministry gives great importance to training new athletes in Turkey, he stated: “In the past, I mentioned that having only 2.5 million certified athletes in a country whose population is over 75 million is quite insufficient. In the last 10 years, an eight or tenfold increase took place in the number of certified athletes in Turkey. Each year, new young people are added. We have been opening new sports training centers across the country to prepare new athletes.”

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