Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accepted a special invitation extended by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to be an honored guest in his country during the London 2012 Olympics.
Erdoğan is due to leave for London in the upcoming days, Turkey’s Sports Minister Suat Kılıç said in a statement while receiving the athletes who won titles in the European Championship during a reception held in Ankara on Monday.
According to Kılıç, Erdoğan and Cameron will together watch events featuring the Turkish wrestler Rıza Kayaalp and also the “Fairies of the Net,” the Turkish national women’s basketball team.
As Turkey’s Akşam daily reports, the invitation was extended to
the prime minister in early June. “I would be honored to host you during the London 2012 Olympics, which Turkey is going to attend with a record number of sportsmen. I would love to watch the Olympic competition together, as Turkey’s chance of winning medals is high,” Cameron says in his note to Erdoğan.
It is the first time in history that an invitation has been sent to the Turkish prime minister by the state that is going to host the Olympics. On receiving such an uncommon invitation, Erdoğan and Kılıç met to discuss the matter, which resulted in the acceptance of the invitation.
The invitation indicates perhaps how much political emphasis the UK puts on Erdoğan’s participation during the Olympics. Moreover, Erdoğan accepted the invitation as his presence could be a good motivation for Turkish sportsmen competing in the London 2012 Olympics. The UK is also among the countries that are supporting Turkey’s candidacy for the 2020 Olympics.