Erdogan: IOC turned its back on Muslim world by not giving 2020 Olympics to Ankara

September 9, 2013 13:54
1 minute read.

The decision to award the 2020 Olympic Games to Tokyo instead of Istanbul was unfair and shows the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is turning its back on the Muslim world, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying Monday.

Tokyo won out against Istanbul by 60 votes to 36 in a head-to-head vote by IOC members in Buenos Aires on Saturday, giving the Japanese capital the Games for a second time. Madrid had been eliminated in the first round of voting earlier in the day.

"Both Tokyo and Madrid have hosted the games before; Istanbul hasn't. It hasn't been fair," Erdogan was quoted as saying in Turkish media. "In a way, they are cutting ties with the 1.5-billion-people Muslim world."

Civil unrest, the unstable political situation on the country's doorstep and a wave of high-profile athletics doping cases are seen as the chief culprits for the IOC's decision to overlook Turkey, which has a predominantly Muslim population, again after Istanbul failed in bids to land the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games.

While the unrest in neighboring Syria was seen by some as counting against the bid, others felt a heavy-handed police crackdown during recent anti-government protests also damaged Turkey's image.

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