Istanbul 2020 bid says security ‘utmost priority’
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Istanbul 2020 bid says security ‘utmost priority’

Following twin bombings over the weekend, Turkey stresses safety record in hopes of hosting Summer Games

The Ayasofya, or Hagia Sophia, museum in Istanbul, one of the most famous landmarks in the city and a former mosque and Byzantine church. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)
The Ayasofya, or Hagia Sophia, museum in Istanbul, one of the most famous landmarks in the city and a former mosque and Byzantine church. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

ISTANBUL (AP) — Organizers of Istanbul’s bid for the 2020 Olympics say safety and security are their “utmost priority” following the twin bombing attacks on a Syrian border town.

Turkey has blamed Syria for Saturday’s car bombings that killed at least 46 people in Reyhanli, a main hub for Syrian refugees and rebels.

The town is about 700 miles southeast of Istanbul, which is competing against Madrid and Tokyo for the 2020 Games. The IOC will select the host city September 7 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Istanbul bid committee offered condolences Monday to victims of this “rare and isolated attack” and said “we must reiterate that safety and security are the utmost priority of Istanbul 2020.”

The statement adds that Turkey has a “very strong safety and security record” in hosting international sports events.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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