Bridge Together. That is Istanbul's slogan for its 2020 Olympic bid. According to experts the slogan is aimed at highlighting the city's unique geographic location straddling Europe and Asia.
Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç revealed the slogan yesterday, which was day-two of a four-day assessment of Istanbul's bid by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"Istanbul is a bridge between east and west, between Europe and Asia, between civilizations, cultures and beliefs," Kılıç said. "With its 10,000-year history, it is the most important bridge between different civilizations."
Earlier, leading businessman Ali Koç assured the IOC of the private sector's support of Istanbul's bid.
"I am here today on behalf of the business community of Turkey to express our readiness to help one of the most important projects in Turkey's history," Ali Koç, Board Member of Koç Holding, told reporters yesterday.
"Our business leaders see the Olympics as an incomparable opportunity to tell our story to the world, to rebrand Turkey, to demonstrate our growing capabilities and to compete with the best companies in the world," Koç added.
The IOC inspectors are currently in Istanbul assessing its ability to host the games, having already conducted inspections of Tokyo and Madrid.
Commenting on the importance of building the Olympic brand, Hasan Arat, Chairman of Istanbul 2020, said:
"Turkey has a great commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. We have been bidding for 20 years! We know how important marketing is for Istanbul 2020 and for the Olympic and Paralympic brands. I have often spoken of Istanbul 2020 as a bridge to excellence; Turkey's strong economy and unwavering government and private sector support will help guarantee that excellence in 2020."