Istanbul`s Olympic bid rejection unfair: Turkish PM
Beijing: Choosing Tokyo instead of Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympic Games was unfair and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ignored the Muslim world, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
"It hasn`t been fair," Erdogan told Turkish media.
"In a way, they are cutting ties with the 1.5-billion-people Muslim world." Xinhua reports that the prime minister complained that both Japan and Spain had hosted the Games before while Turkey had not.
Analysts said while the unrest in neighbouring Syria was seen by some as counting against the bid, the heavy-handed police crackdown during recent anti-government protests also damaged Turkey`s image.
Another worry for Istanbul has been the wave of doping cases which have resulted in the Turkish Athletics Federation banning dozens of athletes for drugs violations, added the analysts.
Tokyo outclassed Istanbul by 60 votes to 36 in a head-to-head vote by IOC members in Buenos Aires on Saturday, giving the Japanese capital the Games for the second time.
Madrid had been eliminated in a first round of voting. Istanbul also failed in bids to land the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games.