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CANDIDATE CITY FOR THE 2008 OLYMPICS
2001 /FEBRUARY

A room in a house, and in that room Istanbul
A mirror in the room, and in that mirror Istanbul
The man lit a cigarette, the smoke of Istanbul
The woman opened her bag,
and in her bag Istanbul
The child threw a line into the sea, I saw
He began to pull it in, on the hook was Istanbul
What kind of water is this, what kind of city?
We walk it follows, we stop it stops
She on one side, I on the other,
in the middle Istanbul
Once you have loved, I realise
Wherever you go, there is Istanbul
If Umit Yasar Oguzcan, who speaks with such passion about Istanbul in his poems, could have lived to see the city dedicate itself to world peace,love, friendship and joy, who knows what else he might have added to the reflection of this splendid city in the mirror.

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CANDIDATE CITY FOR THE 2008 OLYMPICS
2001 /FEBRUARY
Today, the spirit of the Olympics, symbol of universal unity, pervades a city which has been capital to three empires. On 28 August 2000 the International Olympic Committee took a decision that surprised some people, when it named Istanbul as one of the five finalists competing to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Istanbul has convincingly deflected all criticisms levelled against it, so demonstrating its capacity on the international platform. Not only does Istanbul lack nothing that its rivals, Paris, Beijing, Osaka and Toronto, can offer, but has many additional advantages. First of all, the symbolic significance of the Olympic emblem, whose interlocking rings represent the meeting of the continents, is reflected by Istanbul's situation straddling the continents of Europe and Asia. In no other city in the world can the Olympic Games take place in two continents simultaneously.Then Istanbul has a youthful and dynamic population exhilarated by the prospect of pouring their energy into the Olympics.
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CANDIDATE CITY FOR THE 2008 OLYMPICS
2001 /FEBRUARY
Polls reveal that 88 percent of the population is in favour of this event being held in their city, and wishes to be involved. Moreover, in 1992 Turkey passed a law, not found in any other country, relating specifically to preparations for the Olympics. The Olympic Games Preparation and Organisation Council is already building major sports facilities, and representing Turkey on the international sports platform. Istanbul's geographical situation on the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus is another significant advantage, making it possible to hold 28 different sporting events in situ. The city has marinas for sailing events and lakes for canoeing, for instance, which means that all the athletes will be able to experience the Olympic spirit together, and of course the rest of the world with them.The weather is another advantage, since during July and August Istanbul enjoys almost invariable sunshine and warm weather, perfect for athletes to concentrate on record breaking! For most athletes and spectators alike, Istanbul also has the advantage of accessibility, the majority of countries being within short or medium flight distance.
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CANDIDATE CITY FOR THE 2008 OLYMPICS
2001 /FEBRUARY
Istanbul is making rapid progress in infrastructure and expanding its transportation network ready for 2008, with a new underground railway line, for example, as well as a growing system of links by road, sea, and air. Istanbul is a city favoured by leading car manufacturers, because of its vigorous economy and road network comparable to those of other world metropolises. As a result there are rush-hour traffic jams, as in every other large city. But the people and authorities are confident of dealing with any problems. One particular advantage is that Istanbul is a safe city, with a considerably lower crime rate than many other major world cities.In the field of telecommunications there are no problems at all. Turkey has recently launched its third satellite, and Istanbul has a modern and high capacity telecommunications infrastructure. The world's foremost media institutions are engaged in ongoing cooperation with the Turkish media, so that live broadcasts of the entire Olympics will be possible, and moreover without excessive time differences for many countries.
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CANDIDATE CITY FOR THE 2008 OLYMPICS
2001 /FEBRUARY
Istanbul's image in the Olympic mirror comes more clearly into focus when we look at the importance attached to sporting facilities. Of the annual 160 million dollars spent by the Olympic Games Preparation and Organisation Committee over the last eight years, we find that 86% has been devoted to the construction of new facilities. A stadium seating 80,000 people is nearing completion, and a further 21 facilities mean that Istanbul already possesses half the facilities which will be needed for the 2008 Olympic Games. Istanbul is proud of these achievements.

Where organisational capacity is concerned, there are numerous examples of successful events by which to judge. Over the past three years the Preparation and Organisation Committee has been involved in the organisation of eight world championships, seventeen European championships, and ten private sporting events. To quote only the latest example, the 34th World Chess Olympics held last year hosted over 2000 participants from 128 countries.
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CANDIDATE CITY FOR THE 2008 OLYMPICS
2001 / FEBRUARY

And does Istanbul have any disadvantages? Only perhaps insufficient confidence and encouragement. Once the people of Istanbul are sure of the confidence and support of others, they will find all the self-confidence they need to succeed!

 

 

* By AYSEGUL KARTAL

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