THE MEETING OF CONTINENTS The issue of whether Turkey is ready to host Olympic games has been widely debated in our community and of course in International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently. It is an important issue because it reveals the participation of almost all nations of the world and props up the philosophy of peace, brotherhood and unity between nations. Also, this universal games provides a better knowledge of the host countries and cities all around the world, which is more important for Istanbul. The city to be the host of 2008 Olympics is going to be announced in July 2001 after a meeting in Moscow and this issue will be argued until this time.
It has been argued that Turkey has financial problems and is in a critical bend because of its economy (Afransen, 18.03.2001 Canada). So this argument goes, Turkey doesn't have an advanced infrastructure. It is claimed that Turkey cannot be sufficient to the economic side of Olympic games.
However, as Sinan Erdem, the head of the "Turkey National Olympics Committee"Ã¯Â¿Â½, expressed Turkey's infrastructure and bidding ability has been improving rapidly. Istanbul has already started to build Olympic structures and the games will help the development of the country in all sections. The NOC of Turkey, the 2008 bid committee, and the private sector have all invested about $120 million in the bid. Turkish Olympic Law, a law which exists in no other country in the world and does not involve Turkish citizens in any extra taxes.
It might be the contention of IOC that Turkey is too soon after Athens 2004 in Europe. As it is known the Olympic games have never been the host for cities are so nearly. The position goes on to assert that these two cities have similar climate and geography. It could be maintained that there is a cold war between Greece and Turkey, and it can cause a conflict in Olympic games. However, Turkey and Athens ended the cold war between them, on the contrary there is a sweet competition. Moreover, this friendly competition can inspire Istanbul to put on a fabulous game in order to show that they are better than Greece if they get the game. In addition, Athens and Istanbul have quite different history and culture with whole of their religions, traditions and societies and they are more important then geography.
Istanbul's wealth of history and culture, as well as its geography and natural features, make it an ideal host city for the Olympic games. Istanbul is the only city in the world that physically bridges two continents, from historic site of the East to the West. In addition, Istanbul is a city where so many languages and religions coexisted for thousands of years and where cultures and civilizations combined each other. The city's logo and theme "meeting of continents"Ã¯Â¿Â½ symbolize the ultimate goal of the Olympic movement, which is bringing athletes together from around the globe to create the peace and the unity in the world. Istanbul showed these features recently with Istanpool'99 (European Swimming Championship), will show with European Basketball Championship soon in July 2001 and certainly wants to continue with Olympic games in 2008.
In conclusion, Istanbul has a population of 15 million out here whose hearts burn with Olympics flame. Results revealed that 88 percent of the general Turkish public, and 89 percent of Istanbulites, support Istanbul's bid to host the Olympic Games and these are the numbers that have never seen before. The most important thing to make something is desire. Istanbul is ready to host the Olympics. "Let's meet where the continents meet."Ã¯Â¿Â½ (Istanbul 2008).