Turkey sends largest number of women athletes to London 2012

 The Istanbul Olympic bid for the 2020 Gamesgets a big boost for women’s sports as Turkey’s Olympic team for London 2012 is now larger than the men’s team. The qualification of the women’s basketball team made history for Turkey this week, at the 2012 women's FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, with the largest female contingent ever.

“The Turkish NOC holds gender equality as foundational beliefs in our sport and throughout everything we do. Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Games is built on these values and we want them to shine through to the IOC,” said Professor Ugur Erdener, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and Turkish National Olympic Committee (NOC) president.
Turkey snagged an Olympic gain with their victory over Argentina on home soil in Ankara at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for women. This makes the Turkish team, 105 athletes strong, with 59 women and 46 men. Last month, the Turkish volleyball team also qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time and, this past weekend, nailed the bronze medal of the World Grand Prix.

Promoting women’s sports is due to become a core part of the Istanbul bid as Turkey seeks to become the first predominantly Muslim nation to host the Olympic Games. Istanbul is bidding against Tokyo and Madrid for the 2020 summer Olympics. The final vote will take place on September 7, 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the IOC session.