stanbul’s candidacy to host the 2020 Olympic Games will also help remove obstacles hindering Turkey’s aspirations to become a European Union member state, according to the country’s chief negotiator with the bloc.
“Our bid to host the Olympics will help us eliminate the biggest obstacle in our bid to becoming a member of the European Union: prejudice,” EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis told a group of journalists March 1 at a luncheon on the sidelines of the International Sports Summit in Istanbul.
People who visit Turkey as tourists leave the country as friends of Turkey and supporters of the country’s EU membership bid, Bagis said.
“The Olympic bidding process will be an opportunity to host many people in Turkey and also an opportunity to tell about ourselves to those who cannot come through international campaigns. That’s why I consider [Sports Minister] Suat Kilic as a natural member of the negotiating team, while I also consider myself a member of Turkey’s Olympic bid team,” he said./HurriyetDailynews/