Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sport Accepts Governor of Tokyo’s Apology after Istanbul 2020 Jibe

May 1, 2013

The Minister of Youth and Sport in Turkey has accepted the Governor of Tokyo’s apology for claiming Istanbul was less developed and equipped to host the 2020 Olympic Games than the Japanese capital.

Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose was quoted in the New York Times as saying “Islamic countries, ampoule the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.

“For the athletes, where will be the best place to be? Well, compare the two countries where they have yet to build infrastructure, very sophisticated facilities.”

Inose later apologised for his comments that conflicted IOC rules prohibiting bid cities commenting on rival bids.

Now Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Suat K?l?ç, has moved to draw a line under the incident.

K?l?ç said: “We accept the apologies of the Governor of Tokyo and now wish for a friendly competition between the candidate cities abiding by the criteria established by the IOC.

“We place the utmost importance on the friendship and mutual respect between the peoples of Turkey and Japan that date back for centuries.

“We love Japanese people and know that they have sincere and warm-hearted feelings towards Turkish people. The spirit of the Olympic values will bring the two nations even closer.”

Istanbul and Tokyo are joined by Madrid as the three cities looking to host the Olympic Games in 2020.