Turkey hopeful to host games in Mersin

Turkish government pledged a raft of spending, a total of 200 million euro, to host 2013 Mediterranean Games

Turkey hopeful to host games in Mersin

Turkish government pledged a raft of spending, a total of 200 million euro, to host 2013 Mediterranean Games after Greece has announced that it would not organize the event due to its financial troubles.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently signed a letter of guarantee requested by the International Committee of Mediterranean Games, or ICMG, for the financing of the event.

Turkey will most probably host the event in the southern coastal province of Mersin, which also had made a bid to become the host city for 2017 Mediterranean Games.

Turkish government plans to build several facilities in Mersin including a new stadium, swimming pools, shooting ranges, boules-petanque courts, a multi-purpose gym and tennis courts. Turkey will also cover all other expenses of athletes to compete in the organization, from airfare to accommodation.

Last week, group of officials from Mersin including the mayor and the governor travelled to Algeria to meet ICMG President Amar Addadi. Mayor Macit Ozcan said the meeting was very promising and that he got the impression that Addadi favors Turkey and Mersin for the games.

Libya and Spain are the other candidates to host the games in 2013, but Mersin's chance looks higher because Spain had hosted the event in 2005, Turkish officials said.

In a bid to intensify lobbying activities, Mersin's officials will also travel to Paris next week to have a meeting with executives of the National Olympic Committee of France, an influential country in decision-making process.

Last hosted in Pescara, Italy, the Mediterranean Games started in 1951 and are held every four years. They include athletics, swimming, cycling, weightlifting and shooting events. Turkey's Aegean province of Izmir hosted the Sixth Mediterranean Games in 1971.

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Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2011, 18:33
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