Turkish NOC Vice-President: We are ready to hold the II European Games - INTERVIEW

We are deprived of such feelings, Hasan Arat says

Baku. 17 June. REPORT.AZ/ The National Olympic Committee of Turkey (NOC) Vice-President Hasan Arat's interview with Report News Agency:

- At present, the issue on hosting the second European Games in 2019 by Turkey is on the agenda. Have you discussed this issue at the local National Olympic Committee?

-I made a statement on this issue and said that if the public officials in Turkey intend to carry out such an event, the organization will be perfect. I noted if the officials want, Turkey can manage it. Turkey is ready to implement such an event. In particular, Mersin, Izmir and Antalya cities are ready for the races. Previously, the Mediterranean Games were held. However, the state officials will decide not the NOC.

- In other words, there is nothing finalized yet, is there?

- No. It was a question to me, and I said that Turkey is able to carry the Games.

- You are, at the same time, a member of the Board of Directors of the European Olympic Committee (EOC). Are any discussions on determining the host country for the second European Games being made in the EOC?

-Meetings and discussions are made. This issue will become clearer in the coming months. The Netherlands withdrew from hosting the European Games at the last second. Such cases also occur in the Olympic Games. For example, countries that get back their candidates for hosting the Winter Olympics. It may vary according to the internal political situation of the country and it should be respected. There are other cities and states that we are making discussions with them. However, we refuse to name.

- How do you see the future of the European Games?

- Europe is an ancient culture cradle of the world. The Pan American Games and the Asian Games are held in the world. The European Games are the late beginning. However, the start was very successful thanks to Azerbaijan. Athletes Village in Baku meet the international standards. We saw the same quality in Athletes Village as was in the Olympic Games held in London. The most important factor is the athletes to be pleased with everything. In this case, the athlete will succeed. There are a lot of fans in the race. Sports facilities are very beautiful. They are the most modern facilities of those in Europe. Baku is carrying out it very successfully. I believe that it will go on so up to the end.

- What do you think about "Baku 2015"?

- The people, city and state wanted and did it. In addition, your athletes are very good. They perform successfully and win medals. Seeing this, European countries will also intend to hold such events. Baku was a nice start for the European Games.

- You stated that Turkey can implement the European Games with a minimum cost...

- Yes, because our sports facilities and assets are ready.

- How do you assess the performance of Turkish athletes?

- The start is good. Along with wrestling and karate, we are expecting good results from taekwondo, women's volleyball and shooting, expect good results. In addition, we can win a medal in boxing and judo. Turkey is carrying out live broadcasting from Baku for 10-12 hours during a day. All Turkish people are watching these races and it is also good motivation for the athletes. Our athletes want to return home with medals. Turkey is very satisfied. Even in the opening ceremony, they were welcomed with great love. Great applauding the Turks by Azerbaijani citizens will stay in the history. It is the success of the two brotherly countries. This is something unforgettable.

- Like Hasan Arat, not the EOC official, where would you like the II European Games to be held?

- My personal opinion is that, if the state officials consider it expedient, why not in Turkey? However, we will host the Youth Olympic Games that year. A new government will be established in Turkey. I want to reiterate that the decision on hosting the Games should be made by the country's officials. However, I want my country to host this event one day. Because, it will be very successful.

- You are in Baku for several days. Did you have time to visit?

- I visited Old City and the Turkish Martyrdom. It is very nice. I am planning to go to the Maiden Tower. You have very beautiful city. Friends from all over Europe say that you are loved here. We speak the same language, we are deprived of such feelings. it is a great honor to live and feel it.

- Which Azerbaijani meals did you like during your visit?

- You have "plov" (rice meal) with apricots in it. That was my favorite. Then, I like "yarpag dolmasy" (forcemeat mixed with rice and wrapped line in vine leaves). It is made perfectly here. However, in Istanbul, they do not cook it like that. It is very delicious here. There are also many other dishes that like. Is it possible not to like something here?! Azerbaijan is our country too. For me, number one meal is "yarpag dolmasy".

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