Greece has pledged its full support to Turkey’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed the agreement with the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Antonis Samaras, following their meetings at the second High Level Cooperation Council in Istanbul. The agreement is one of more than 20 signed at the summit aimed at boosting bilateral relations across sectors like tourism, energy and telecommunications.
A joint declaration from the offices of the Prime Ministers committed both countries to “engage in cooperation with regard to the technical and related aspects in the organisation of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games” and “explore ways of enhancing the benefits of the Olympics for the two countries” and the entire region if Istanbul is awarded the Games. Istanbul 2020 announced in January that seven of Turkey’s largest companies will unite for the first time to sponsor the nation’s bid to host its first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games, in a series of landmark deals worth in excess of US$20 million.
Hasan Arat, leader of the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee, regards the deals as a critical milestone in the campaign:
This is the most powerful alliance between the sports community, the business community and every level of government we have ever had here in Turkey. That is why Istanbul 2020 is better placed than ever to deliver an Olympic and Paralympic Games of outstanding technical quality: now we are ready to take on the responsibility of hosting the greatest sporting event on the planet.