Istanbul was officially named a candidate for hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, daily Hürriyet reported.
This is the first time that Turkey has managed to move past the technical scoring stage, unlike the four previous attempts where the city’s bid failed before the qualifying official candidates were set.
Turkey will now compete against Tokyo and Madrid to become the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games.
The IOC will decide which city will host the 2020 Olympics in a final vote on September 7, 2013 in Buenos Aires. That gives the remaining hopefuls more than 15 months to make final impressions upon the IOC to boost their candidacy.
The IOC decision was a landmark sign of progress for serial bidder Turkey, which was shortlisted after failing to win the right to host the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games.
Turkey is also running for hosting of the 2020 European Football Championships, but the IOC is not sympathetic to the idea of an Olympic host nation holding another major sporting event in the country in the same year as the Olympics.
IOC officials will look mainly at the cities’ ability to host a major sporting event, ranking their transportation capabilities and examining other infrastructure challenges they may face.