Istanbul mayor: Protests can harm Olympic bid

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Associated Press

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 24 at 11:10 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — Istanbul's mayor has warned that prolonged protests in Turkey could hurt the city's chances of hosting the 2020 Olympics.

Kadir Topbas says the bid could end up "being nothing but a dream" if the anti-government protests — that have largely abated — were to persist.

Istanbul is making its fifth bid for the Olympics and competing against Madrid and Tokyo. The IOC will select the host city Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Images of violence during the protests included police firing tear gas and water cannons at protesters.

Topbas says they've entered the final stages of the 2020 Olympic bidding and "Istanbul stands to lose" if protesters forge ahead with demonstrations.

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