Turks left looking for answers after fifth Olympics Games rejection

By REUTERS
September 8, 2013 05:10

 
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ISTANBUL - Disappointed and disillusioned Turks have begun the now-familiar routine of trying to understand why the IOC again overlooked their bid to host the Olympics over two continents after Istanbul was beaten by Tokyo in the race to host the 2020 Games.

Crowds in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet Square, where the decision was broadcast live on big screens in front of hopeful hundreds, rolled up their flags and prepared to leave as the city was comprehensively beaten by the Japanese capital after Madrid was knocked out after the first round.

Once the result was announced and Istanbul had failed for the fifth time to land the Games, the inquest began.

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 again after Istanbul failed 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 were also instrumental in dampening Turkey's image.

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