- By Hillary HurdHillary Hurd is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.
From Beijing to Moscow from Rio to Sydney, the Olympics have spanned continents, traversed intense political terrain, and remained competitive for bidders of all colors and creeds. That said, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan recently questioned the IOC’s fairness:
"No country with a majority of Muslim population has ever hosted the Olympics," Erdogan said in London after watching the Turkish women’s basketball team beating Angola 72-50 in its first Olympic match.
"This is the third time for London, Madrid was the host twice," he said. "Tokyo has hosted three games. Istanbul has bid to host the Olympics five times but has never been handed the rights. This is not a fair approach."
Not yet jaded by his fourth rejection since the 2000 Olympics, Ergodan has been working to bolster Turkey’s fifth bid to host the 2020 Games in Istanbul and to understand why Turkey’s never won the bid. With a 75,000-person stadium already built, Ergodan’s sparing no line of argument to help sway Jacques Rogge, head of the IOC.
While a number of other cities in Islamic countries have vied for the games in recent years including Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, and Doha, the winner won’t be announced until September 7, 2013, in Buenos Aires.
Islamic practice has already caused some controversy in this Olympics with the dispute over whether Saudi Arabia’s female Judo competitor Wojdan Shaherkani will be allowed to compete with her headscarf.