Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan is a Founding Member and Board Member of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and has played a critical role in Turkey’s 20-year desire to host the Games. Joining him amongst the Istanbul 2020 delegation will be: the Minister for Youth and Sport, Suat Kiliç; IOC member and President of the Turkish National Olympic Committee, Professor Uğur Erdener; Istanbul 2020 Bid Chairman, Hasan Arat; and TOKİ President, Ahmet Haluk Karabel.
Speaking ahead of the IOC presentation, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said:
“It is a huge honour to be representing Turkey and presenting our Olympic ambition to the IOC at such a critical time in the bid’s campaign. We will go to Lausanne full of optimism following the publication of the IOC 2020 Evaluation Commission Report. This Report clearly positioned Istanbul 2020 as a bid of ‘high quality’, which offers the Olympic Movement a ‘unique’ Games.
“Turkey’s desire to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games has never been stronger. The bid enjoys full cross-party support, the support of all our major corporations and most importantly, the support of 90% of the Turkish public.
“This is Turkey’s fifth bid since the enactment of our Olympic Law in 1992; but this time is different. This time, our desire is matched by capacity and we look forward to explaining this to the IOC next week in Lausanne. Over the last seven years we have hosted over 40 major international events and we have shown that Turkey is ready to host a technically excellent Games.”
Over the last 10 years, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has served as the Minister of Treasury; Chief Negotiator in Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union; Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Deputy Prime Minister, in charge of Finance and Economy. He is now looking ahead to the next ten years, as the government and all political parties move towards a vision for a New Turkey. Istanbul’s Olympic and Paralympic bid is a key element of this vision and is aligned perfectly with Turkey’s 2023 Master Plan.
Completing the Istanbul 2020 delegation in Lausanne are: Istanbul 2020 Ambassador, Atılay Ersan; CEO of Istanbul 2020, Ali Kiremitçioğlu; Istanbul 2020 Sports Director, Alp Berker; Istanbul 2020 Technical Director, Nejat Sarp; Olympian and Istanbul 2020 Ambassador, Neslihan Darnel; Paralympian and Istanbul 2020 Ambassador, Gizem Girişmen; and Turkey’s number one female tennis player, Çağla Büyükakçay.