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March 2, 2011
2013 Mediterranean Games awarded to Mersin, Turkey

by Murat Agca, UEPS Executive Committee Member
Istanbul, March 3, 2011 - Turkey's port city Mersin will be added to the list of Turkish cities to host an international sports event, as the southern district won the race to host the 2013 Mediterranean Games following a re-vote of the committee.

The games has been awarded to Volos-Larissa, Greece but initial winner lost the organization rights due to lack of funds.

In the return of the Mediterranean Olympic Committee voting, Mersin left Libya's Tripoli and Spain's Tarragone behind after first round getting more then half of the votes from 24 Mediterranean countries. The decision declared on 23rd of February by Amar Addadi, the president of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games, or CIJM.

Mediterranean Games, a regional version of the Olympics, will be held second time in Turkey after Ęzmir 1971. The quadrennial Games include sports events in 26 branches and welcome around 3,500 athletes. The 10-day games will be held in late June and early July of 2013.

"Mersin will see EUR 200 million of investment for the preparation and hosting of the games," said Turkey's State Minister for Sports, Faruk Ozak. "Turkey has proved its organizational capabilities in various international events. Izmir held the Mediterranean Games 40 years ago. Mersin will go through an urban transformation like Erzurum did for the 2011 Winter Universiade, and will host the games in excellent shape," he added.

Togay Bayatlę, the head of the Turkish National Olympic Committee, or TMOK, said there were no doubts that Mersin will deliver a memorable Mediterranean Games. "Turkey has done great jobs in hosting sports events recently," Bayatlę said in a written statement on Thursday. "The fact that Mersin got more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round is a great example of Turkey's rising reputation."

The University Games in Ęzmir in 2005 and the Winter University Games in Erzurum last month are the two top multi-sports events to be hosted in Turkey. Mundo Basket 2010 has also held in Turkey so far. In 2012 Istanbul will be the venue for IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships and FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships.

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