The organizing committee for the 2020 Istanbul Olympic bid says that the recent anti-government protests that have ripped the country (and lit up global media) will have “no effect” on their bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The organizing committee, claiming to speak after discussing the protests with IOC members, released a statement that said ”while they are obviously as keen as we are for a swift and peaceful resolution, the majority of people we have spoken to recognize that 2020 is still seven years away.”
The organizing committee also said that they didn’t feel that the protests would interfere with the preparation for the games, including infrastructure enhancements (Istanbul is planning construction of the world’s biggest airport) and building of venues.
All of this comes in contrast to Istanbul citing its “political stability” in their official bid. The IOC has not made any official public statement on the matter.
Istanbul is in the running against Tokyo, Japan and Madrid, Spain for the bid, the winner of which will be announced on September 7th. The protests directly involve government plans to raze a park in Taksin Square and replace it with a mall, though many observers believe that it is the last-straw in Turkish citizens’ frustration with a strong-handed government. Images of protesters battling with police using molotov cocktails, and the police responding with powerful water hoses, have flooded global news reports.