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  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, March 19, 2017.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, March 19, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Turkey hosted the European Youth Olympic Festival in its eastern province of Erzurum in February 2016 for the first time in 25 years.

Turkey's president, who has angered European allies with charges of fascism and anti-Turkish skullduggery, took grievances to the sporting arena on Monday, accusing the International Olympic Committee of playing tricks to stop Istanbul hosting the event.

Since the early years of his political career, Tayyip Erdogan has longed to bring the Olympics to Turkey, making it the first predominantly Muslim country to stage the event. Turkey has had five failed bids in the last six votes.

"We may not have been able to bring the Olympics to our country yet, but you also know about the tricks being played here... I've experienced it myself," he told an International soccer summit in Istanbul, without specifying what the tricks might be.

"They did not give us the Olympics even when we had the right. They gave the Olympics for the second time to those who hosted it before."

Erdogan has sought to raise Turkey's international profile and influence, not shrinking from conflict with allies.

In 2013, Tokyo won the 2020 Games, beating rival bids from Istanbul and Madrid. Turkey's chances were seen as having been dented by mass anti-government protests in Istanbul.

teleSUR
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