Internationally acclaimed news agency Associated Press (AP) has dished up praise for Istanbul's bid to host the 2020 Olympics referring to the city's "unique charms" just days before the International Olympics Committee (IOC) goes to a vote on Saturday in the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires.
Istanbul: a symbolic city
In reports leading up to this weekend's vote, the news agency points out that as the first Muslim candidate city, Istanbul enables "a vision of bringing the Olympics to a new region." AP also addresses the "symbolism of holding games in a city linking Asia and Europe," which it dubs the "most ambitious choice." In addition, the Associated Press states that this being Istanbul's fifth bid is an indicator of "persistence and commitment".
Government offers strong support
The Turkish government has offered incredibly strong support for Istanbul's bid, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally taking part in the candidacy process, including flying to Buenos Aires to attend Saturday's vote. AP has also credited Olympic Committee head Hasan Arat as being a "dynamic bid leader," which they point out is an important factor.
Candidate Tokyo's contends with leakage
Agence France-Press (AFP) emphasizes that the partial leaking of 300 tons of toxic water from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant constitutes an issue for Tokyo's 2020 summer games bid. AFP also writes that the head of Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Games bid Tsunekazu Takeda has stated, "the leaking of toxic water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant will not affect Tokyo."
IOC impressed with Haydarpaşa stadium project
Members of the International Olympic Committee paid a visit to Istanbul during which they toured the city's facilities, both those completed as well as those still in the construction phase and were briefed on the projects involved in Istanbul's Olympic bid. IOC members were especially impressed by the project to build a stadium for the Olympics in Haydarpaşa, which would host the opening and closing ceremonies.