Turkey came to a standstill at about 11 p.m. Saturday [Sept. 7]. Like Turks all over the world, we were all waiting for the news. On that day, Turkish Airlines broke its longest nonstop flight record of 13½ hours between Istanbul-Los Angeles by flying 16 hours nonstop between St. Petersburg and Buenos Aires. It flew Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with his wife and daughter, from the G-20 Summit to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires. Erdogan went to lobby for Istanbul to be selected as host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics. He addressed the IOC to vote for Istanbul and apologized to his wife and family for his “love for Istanbul and sports.’’
There was optimism in Turkey that they would get the good news. Istanbul’s historical Sultanahmet Square was packed with people at about 11 p.m. in front of giant TV screens transmitting live from Argentina. No doubt that had the news come as ‘’Istanbul 2020” there would have been jubilation. Everything was ready for it.