With the IOC visit to assess Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic bid just days away, the city is underlining its credentials as a world-class centre for cultural events by hosting the Istanbul Fashion Week whilst also announcing Alicia Keys as a headline act for the 20th Istanbul Jazz Festival later this summer.
Istanbul Fashion Week is an international showcase for talented and internationally acclaimed Turkish designers such as Tanju Babacan and Begüm Salihoglu. The event runs until this Saturday, eight days before IOC Vice-President, Sir Craig Reedie, leads the Evaluation Commission’s four-day assessment of the Istanbul 2020 bid (24-27 March).
Thousands of extra visitors are staying in Istanbul for this week’s fashion extravaganza, helping reinforce Istanbul 2020’s message to the IOC that, as the fifth most visited tourist destination in the world with 11.6 million visitors in 2012, Istanbul is more than ready to welcome the Olympic family in 2020.
Hasan Arat, Istanbul 2020 Chairman, commented, “Istanbul Fashion Week brings the city alive and the buzz it creates is the ideal scene-setter for the IOC Evaluation Commission’s arrival next week. Once again, Istanbul has provided a dramatic backdrop for a world-class event. Fashion Week reflects Istanbul’s diverse culture as well as the creative and innovative talent that exists within our very youthful population. This is a message we will be repeating to the IOC next week.”
The Istanbul Jazz Festival is also set to be another world-class event for Istanbul in July. This week, festival organisers announced that R&B and soul singer, Alicia Keys, will play at the opening night. Keys, who has won 14 Grammy awards, will be performing in Turkey for the first time and will help mark the 20th edition of the Istanbul Jazz Festival.Professor Ugur Erdener, IOC member and President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, said, “Istanbul’s ability to attract world stars is a further sign that Turkey’s lure as an entertainment hub resonates throughout the world. Turkey’s dream is to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. During the IOC Evaluation Commission’s visit next week, we can point to past, current and future examples of our ability to deliver events with a global reach.”