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2020 and all that!
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 276
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: 2020 and all that! Reply with quote

So Istanbul is hoping to get chosen over Madrid and Toyko for the 2020 Olympics, can anyone see them doing that?

More chance of getting into the E.U, perhaps?
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5680
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably got a better chance than Madrid. Does Spain really want to blow up their economy worse than it already is? Pencil Istanbul in for a close second after Tokyo.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better chance by far than of joining the EU. Most Turks don't want to be in the EU (they're only bothered that they won't get the chance to turn the EU down), and most continentals don't want Turkey in their club.

Turkey has yet to host either summer or winter games, whereas Spain and Japan have already hosted the Summer Olympics once each and Japan's hosted the Winter Olympics twice. Consider also the fact that Turkey is a rising economic power, whereas Japan is a declining economic power and Spain is a faltering economic mediocrity, and I feel like Istanbul is a strong contender.

Regards,
~Q
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 113
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have any of you thought about the logistics of having the Olympics in Istanbul?
First of all, where would they put the Olympic Stadium? Olympic Village? All of the other athletic venues? They would have to be reasonably close to each other. Where would all the rowing events take place? On the largest septic tank in the world- the Bosphorus? There isn't a body of water even remotely clean within a 100 mile radius of Istanbul to host such an event.
The traffic problems would be a colossal nightmare. Can you imagine the congestion on the two bridges crossing the Bosphorus? I can't even begin to imagine the number of car accidents there would be and traffic jams resulting from these accidents. Turkish drivers may very well be the worst in the world.
The corrupt and overly violent Istanbul police force would have a field day with all of the new yabanci in town. The threat of terrorism would be huge.
There will be a cloud of tobacco smoke hanging over all of the outdoor (and maybe indoor) events. Can you fathom Turks actually obeying the nonsmoking sign and giving up there beloved cigarettes while watching an Olympic event?
Where will the electricity come from???? I lived in 7 different parts of Istanbul, and the electricity went off in each section on almost a daily basis. Can you imagine the lights going off during the men's basketball final? I can.
The Olympics in Istanbul would be a complete joke. Has a Muslim country ever hosted the Olympics?
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billy orr



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main problem is the traffic. The rest can be sorted with enough money and effort, and Turkey is capable of putting on a good show. Look at the top class tourist hotels that have been developed in places like Belek.

There is already an olympic stadium on the edge of the city, with lots of space around it for an olympic park.

The Golden Horn has already been used successfully for international rowing.

Far fewer people smoke these days, and no smoking signs are respected, especially in istanbul.

Everything is doable but I don't know about the traffic. And overcoming some peoples prejudices will be difficult too, of course.
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 276
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comments so far, sorry Billy would you care to expand on that last point relating to prejudices?
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 113
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume you are referring to Ataturk Olympic Stadium (is there anything in Turkey not named after him?). I was there twice- once in 2007 and again in 2009. Getting to and from the stadium was a nightmare, and this was for only about 40,000 people. What will happen when 90,000+ show up? And how will they even get there? In dolmuses???? In 2009, the stadium could be accessed by one major highway, and I'm sure conditions haven't improved. I don't recall any major hotels near the stadium.
I was there when a couple of British soccer fans were murdered by Turkish nationalists for desecrating the Turkish flag in Taksim in 2000. Turks are touchy, touchy touchy people. They love to look for a fight. They would have plenty of opportunities if the Olympics were there. The undertrained police force would have their hands full. I would never feel safe if I were there.
And, as I said before, what about the electrical problem? I'm sure there would be no major foul-ups, but I also wonder what will happen to the first athlete who misses an event because he/ she overslept due to the electricity being off. You can laugh all you want, but it will happen.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5680
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
I also wonder what will happen to the first athlete who misses an event because he/ she overslept due to the electricity being off.

They probably won't get a medal. To avoid this situation the athletes might rely on the invention known as the battery operated clock. AKA the mobile phone.

Been awhile since I've been to Turkey (2002) but the reason the IOC gives them seven years lead time to get ready is so they can sort these infrastructure problems out. Some (media for one) are expressing concerns about Rio right now - security, traffic, congestion, getting the venues ready on time, people that don't want to sell their land for Olympic development etc etc. Same same for Athens as I recall. Early stage panic is nothing new to these places that end up getting the Olympics but somehow they all manage to pull it off. The threat of global embarrassment is a powerful motivator for these cities to get it done on time and in working order.
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Luxe



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others, I find it improbable that Istanbul would get the bid. The bids almost always go to cities with brilliant infrastructure that are able to accommodate the chaos that the Olympics bring to their cities. Istanbul would shut down, literally. I have always lived in relatively affluent areas of the city, and even in these areas electricity randomly shuts off or water is turned off at random intervals. The traffic is a nightmare and the public transport network could not be improved to the degree necessary in just eight years. Istanbul is a great city, but it is total shit from an infrastructure standpoint, and infrastructure is a huge make or break in determining Olympic host cities.

Not to mention the fact that tap water is considered undrinkable even by the natives. These things may sound trite, but they all go into the decision of whether or not a city is suitable to host such a demanding event.

Security would also be a serious concern, IMO.
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 113
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well put, Luxe.
Istanbul, according to several sites on the Internet, is now somewhere between the second and fifth largest cities in the world. It is the perfect example of urban sprawl- when driving through it, it seems to go on and on forever. The transportation system was constructed to accommodate a city of 6 or 7 million people and not 13.
If I lived on the Asian side (say Umraniye or worst yet, Kartal), how would I get to Ikitelli where Olympic Stadium is? I think anyone living or staying on the Asian side would simply have to forget about going.
A majority of the better hotels in Istanbul are in the Taksim-Sisli area. From there, you could take a train to Avcilar and then what? Can you imagine 75000+ people migrating to Olympic Stadium for opening day?
A subway or some sort of skytrain would have to be built from Taksim to Ikitelli with many stops in between. That would be an enormous undertaking and I can't see it happening.
The electrical problem cannot be emphasized enough. Turks like to build, build and build, and worry about minor items such as electricity and water later on. I lived in Bahcesehir (one of Istanbul's most affluent suburbs) for 4 years. The electricity seemed to go off on a daily basis, yet literally hundreds of new apartment buildings were sprouting up across the manmade lake. I had the pleasure of being the mayor's private English tutor for a couple of years. I once asked him where all the electricity was going to come from for the new communities across the lake. His reply- "We'll worry about that when the time comes." This is the typical Turkish attitude that would doom any thought of hosting the Olympics.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5680
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luxe wrote:
As others, I find it improbable that Istanbul would get the bid. The bids almost always go to cities with brilliant infrastructure that are able to accommodate the chaos that the Olympics bring to their cities.

Recent history suggests otherwise:

Can roughed-up Rio be ready for the 2016 Olympics?

Quote:
Public officials admit they're facing an enormous challenge to be ready for two mega-events in the next four years.

Quote:
The top concerns are pretty significant: a notable shortage of hotel rooms, a lack of public transit and fears over security in what used to be considered one of the most dangerous cities in the hemisphere.

Quote:
Today, the city, aided by state and federal money, is subsidizing the building of thousands of new hotel rooms, in the hope of almost doubling the current capacity.

Quote:
It's also setting up a new rapid-transit bus loop and trying to bring formerly gang-controlled neighbourhoods — many of them exactly where the 2016 Olympics will take place — under police control.

Quote:
These types of improvements are what the International Olympic Committee refers to as a "legacy" that residents will enjoy in return for all of the construction and traffic congestion they're enduring now in the run-up to the Games.

I remember reading similar articles about Athens 10 and 12 years ago, and they pulled it off. In the run-up to their Olympics Beijing had unprecedented pollution concerns to deal with. They shut industry down for weeks at a time before the Games to alleviate that problem. Having brilliant infrastructure isn't the sole or even the main criteria the IOC base their decisions on - recent history shows it to be more of a "where can we maximize our profits," "what kind of legacy can we leave behind?" along with "the Games have never been held here before" decision-making process. If brilliant infrastructure were the main criteria Athens and Rio would never have been awarded the Olympics either, so there's a precedent here and Istanbul does have a chance. Spain's economy is in the tank with no prospect of revival yet (the vote for 2020 is next year), so I don't think too many people envision Madrid winning. Japan has the fallout from the nuclear disaster to deal with. . . I read an article somewhere and someone actually claimed that's one of their selling points for why they should be chosen Rolling Eyes I'd say Istanbul's chances aren't too bad actually. Seriously if Istanbul is as messed up as some people claim it is (Haven't been there for a decade now so can't say first-hand) then the Olympics might be one (the only?) way to actually rectify some of these problems. I would think people living there would want to see this happen. It'll be a challenge no doubt but it's not like it hasn't been done before.

Luxe wrote:
Security would also be a serious concern, IMO.

Security's been a serious concern at every major international event for decades, moreso since 2001. What makes security in Istanbul more of a concern than other places that have held the Games recently or will hold them in future? It's closer to the Middle East? I'm sure Istanbul would do what every other city has done and review the "lessons learned" from past Games and plot their strategy accordingly.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luxe wrote:
The bids almost always go to cities with brilliant infrastructure that are able to accommodate the chaos that the Olympics bring to their cities.

Dude, come again?!

7969 just discussed Rio, and I recall visiting Beijing back in 2002. It was in far worse shape than modern Istanbul, and that was after the city had been awarded the 2008 games.

Turkey is in a far better position to cope with the infrastructure problems than either China or Brazil, both because it's starting from a better place, and because the AKP—as odious as they are in many ways—is a party that generally gets things done, far more subtly and effectively than the hamhanded tactics of the Chinese Communists or the amanha obstructionists who dominate Brazilian politics.

To be fair, if Turkey's hosting the Olympics, I'd say the best location logistics-wise is Izmir. Turkey's third-largest city has a far better public transit network than Istanbul as well as surprisingly efficient public servants. But the Olympics generally seem to go in a nation's largest city or capital, and frankly as a Smyrnophile I'm rather glad Izmir isn't under consideration. (It would raise costs in Izmir, and Istanbul could use the infrastructure and investment boost far more anyways.)

~Q
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 113
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you Qaaol. Izmir would be a far better choice than Istanbul with far fewer problems.
Has anyone given any thought to the potential earthquake problem? I realize there hasn't been one in Istanbul in more than ten years. I was in Bahcesehir during the 2 major earthquakes over a decade ago, and if I can recall correctly, the area where Olympic Stadium now stands was hit pretty hard.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5680
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:
Has anyone given any thought to the potential earthquake problem? I realize there hasn't been one in Istanbul in more than ten years. I was in Bahcesehir during the 2 major earthquakes over a decade ago, and if I can recall correctly, the area where Olympic Stadium now stands was hit pretty hard.

Not sure how much they (IOC) consider that factor, but most of China lies along a fault line and earthquakes are not unheard of, massive ones too. Tangshan in 1976 wasn't far from Beijing. Tokyo as well seems to be prone to earthquakes (but well-prepared too).
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 113
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few more points:
Where is all the money going to come from to build the Olympic Village, sports venues and hotels?
Turks feel that they are far more important on the world stage than they actually are. Would the Olympics fuel the governments's overdeveloped sense of its own self-worth resulting in disaster in the Middle East?
An orderly expansion of Istanbul would have to be planned by city authorities. Orderly? In Turkey? The word doesn't exist there.
Who owns all of the land adjacent to Olympic Stadium? If it's owned by developers, and Istanbul indeed gets the bid, expect to see the construction of a vast sprawl of concrete apartment buildings in that area in the next five years instead of the building of major infrastructure.
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