Thedecision to award the 2020 Olympic Games to Tokyo instead of Istanbul wasunfair and shows the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is turning its backon the Muslim world, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as sayingMonday.
Tokyowon out against Istanbul by 60 votes to 36 in a head-to-head vote by IOCmembers in Buenos Aires on Saturday, giving the Japanese capital the Games for asecond time. Madrid had been eliminated in the first round of voting earlier inthe day.
"BothTokyo and Madrid have hosted the games before; Istanbul hasn't. It hasn't beenfair," Erdogan was quoted as saying in Turkish media. "In a way, theyare cutting ties with the 1.5-billion-people Muslim world."
Civilunrest, the unstable political situation on the country's doorstep and a waveof high-profile athletics doping cases are seen as the chief culprits for theIOC's decision to overlook Turkey, which has a predominantly Muslim population,again after Istanbul failed in bids to land the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012Games.
Whilethe unrest in neighboring Syria was seen by some as counting against the bid,others felt a heavy-handed police crackdown during recent anti-governmentprotests also damaged Turkey's image.