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Trio Of Bid Cities Give 2020 Olympic Files To IOC

Istanbul is seeking the Olympics at a time when Turkey is in conflict with Syria. Turkey is a former ally of Syria but turned against President Bashar Assad's regime over its violent crackdown on dissent in the nearly 2-year-old civil war that has left 60,000 dead. Turkey is supporting the Syrian opposition and rebels and is providing shelter to some 150,000 refugees.

"This is a global issue," Arat said. "This does not really affect our bid and our future plans. Turkey is a unique example of a secular democracy."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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