Turkey faces tests for Olympics and expo in fall
This fall will witness two major challenges for Turkey as Istanbul's bid for the 2020 Olympic Games and İzmir's bid for EXPO 2020 will be decided one after another, in September and in November, respectively. Competing with Madrid and Tokto for the right to land the world's biggest multi-sports event, Istanbul's biggest disadvantage is the fact that the Olympics have never been held in a Muslim country, but a string of doping scandals in the country that have embroiled athletics and wrestling stars since the beginning of the year might overshadow Istanbul's advantages. The moment of truth will be revealed on September 7 when the winning bid is announced. The event will be closely watched by those lobbying for EXPO 2020; if Istanbul loses the bid, will it increase the chances of İzmir? In contrast, if Istanbul emerges victorious against its Spanish and Japanese opponents, will that negatively effect İzmir's bid? Dubai poses the biggest threat to İzmir, which lost out on EXPO 2015 to Milan. İzmir's other competitors this time are Sao Paolo and Yekaterinburg.