By Duncan Mackay

IstanbulJuly 24 - Istanbul are today set to officially declare that they are to bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will announce, insidethegames can reveal.

An announcement is due to be made by Erdogan at the Opening Ceremony of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Trabazon tonight. 

He will invite the rest of the world to "have the celebration of their lives", sources close to the Prime Minister have told insidethegames.

Istanbul mounted four consecutive failed bids, for the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

But their chances areRecep_Tayyip_Erdogan_in_front_of_Turkey_flag considered to be stronger for this contest, where they will definitely face opposition from Madrid, Rome and Tokyo and possibly Doha.

Turkey mounted a strong challenge for the 2016 European Football Championships, only losing to France by one vote in the election last year.

They had been pondering another bid to host Euro 2020 but following discussions between Erdogan and leading sports officials they have now decided to concentrate on the Olympics and Paralympics.

The announcement is being made to coincide with the 88th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 that established the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire. 

Erdogan (pictured), who will be accompanied at the event tonight by Turkey's International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dr Ugur Erdener, will tell the world that Istanbul is a "bridge to the Orient, a bridge to 1.2 billion people rooted in the same tradition and culture as 80 million plus Turks of today aiming to host the Olympic Games for the first time in Olympic history in this culture". 

He will invite them to "have the party, have the celebration of their lives".

Turkey is one of Europe's fastest growing economies which has so far managed to avoid the financial meltdown that has threatened Italy and Spain and Erdogan will offer full Government support to the bid, also claiming that they have learnt from their previous failed campaigns.

"Turkey is financially and economically sound," Erdogan will say.

"We have listened and learned to IOC members, International Federation Presidents, the IOC admininistration, the media in our last four bids.

"One hundred per cent Government guarantee is a given.

"We will do whatever it takes and gladly throw the best celebration that Turks arre legendary for - and do the dishes after the party."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
January 2011: Greece Prime Minister promises support for Istanbul 2020 Olympic bid
December 2010: Hosting the Olympics in Istanbul is a priority say Turkey
May 2010: Turkey bid for 2020 Olympics confirmed
November 2009: Istanbul to bid for 2020 Olympics