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Turkish family businesses go for gold

Istanbul has signed up some of Turkey’s biggest family businesses to support its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
The Olympic rings in St Pancras station, London
© David Holt

Istanbul has signed up some of Turkey’s biggest family businesses to support its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

The country's largest family-controlled conglomerates – Sabanci Holding, Dogus Group, Yildiz Holding and Koc Holding – have said they will sponsor the bid with cash donations.

The companies also said they would use their marketing expertise to raise awareness of the bid among the Turkish population.

Those in the know say 2020 just might be Istanbul’s year, given the city has bid five times to host the world’s greatest sporting extravaganza. And backing from the likes of Sabanci and Dogus will help to convince doubters about the financial viability of Turkey staging the Games, say analysts.

Nevertheless, Turkey’s largest city faces stiff competition from Tokyo and Madrid. The IOC will make its decision in September.

Dogus Group – headed by second-gen Ferit Sahenk – said in a statement on 19 March: "We believe that if Istanbul wins this bid, this will be a significant gain not only for Istanbul but for the whole of Turkey."

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