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SBD Global/June 4, 2013/Olympics

Istanbul 2020 Organizers Say Turkish People Behind Bid Despite Recent Rash Of Violence

Promoters of Istanbul's 2020 Olympics bid "remain confident the Turkish people are united behind their campaign despite fierce anti-government protests around the country in recent days," according to the AP. The demonstrations "grew out of anger over a violent police crackdown of a peaceful environmental protest at Istanbul's Taksim Square." Istanbul 2020 backers said in a statement, "Despite these recent events, all sections of Turkey remain united in our dream to host our nation's first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020." The bid organizers said they are monitoring the demonstrations in Istanbul "very carefully" and, while they're buoyed by the "positive community spirit in helping to clean up and repair damage," the situation remains fluid. IOC Presidential candidate Denis Oswald said Monday that the protests "shouldn't threaten the bid." Oswald said, "I don't think it would necessarily affect the candidature. We are still three months away from the decision. It will depend if this continues and develops, but for the time being I don't think it's a real threat for the candidature" (AP, 6/3).
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