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Istanbul has achieved sultans' dream: Olympics bid chief

Published on Jan 8, 2013 10:11 AM
Members of the delegation of the Istanbul bid (from left) International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and National Olympic Committee president, Prof Ugur Erdener, mayor of Istanbul, Mr Kadir Topbas and Bid Committee leader, Mr Hasan Arat, talk on Jan 7, 2013, at the headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The Istanbul bid for the 2020 Olympic Games has achieved a dream held by the sultans who used to rule Turkey in bringing both the continents the city straddles together as one, their bid chief told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday.

Mr Hasan Arat, who spoke to AFP by phone from Lausanne after Istanbul had handed over their candidature file to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said with Istanbul's first underground tube train line to be opened on Oct 29 this year, the bid had succeeded in bringing Asia and Europe together.

The tube will re-inforce the ties between the two sides of the city, which have been connected by the Bosphorous Bridge that opened in 1973 and then a second one in 1988.

European Turkey makes up just 3 per cent of the country's territory.

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