Agence France-Presse reports that seven giant Turkish companies have pledged to chip in on Istanbul’s 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Sports Minister Suat Kilic said Saturday, “until the sponsors became involved in this process with all they’ve got, we felt all alone. When the private sector shouldered the burden, we realized we were one big family”.
Kilic said the contribution from the seven sponsors was capped at 2.5 million Euros ($3.2 million), which meant they were handling “fifty per cent of the burden. It is not just the money, but the morale and the energy”.
Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines, another sponsor, said that the construction of one of the world’s largest airports in Istanbul is sure to help the bid once it is finished.
The airport is expected to be operational in 2016 with an initial capacity to handle 100 million passengers thorough six runways.
Kotil said “1.5 million people are expected to come to Istanbul for the 2020 Olympics. We can carry them in a couple of days. Our city is ready for the Olympics with all its infrastructure”.
Istanbul is bidding for the 2020 Games along with Tokyo and Madrid. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be inspecting Istanbul’s bid March 24-27.