The answer to that question is sure, why not? Any country able to invest the resources and organize such a spectacle, and willing to host delegations from around the world including from countries they do not recognize should have their shot. But religion should not be the determining factor. Don’t tell that to Turkey, though. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sees the world through a religious prism. The genocide in Darfur? Impossible. After all, he argued when welcoming Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir. “A Muslim can never commit genocide.”
Now Erdoğan has rooted Turkey’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics in religion. “No country with a majority of Muslim population has ever hosted the Olympics,” he said while visiting London last week. “Istanbul has bid to host the Olympics five times but has never been handed the rights. This is not a fair approach.” The Istanbul 2020 logo features not the bridge between civilizations, but rather minarets and mosques. No previous Olympic emblem has featured religious symbols.