The executive committee of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) umbrella organization has announced that it has awarded the 2027 European Games multi-sport event to the city of Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkey’s Olympic Committee was the only EOC member to officially submit a bid to host the event, although some Western European nations had supposedly expressed interest in hosting.

The Mediterranean country will be officially approved as hosts at the June EOC general assembly in Bucharest, Romania, where relevant documents will be signed.

Spyros Capralos, EOC president, hinted in November 2022 that Western European countries such as France, Portugal, or Spain, had shown interest in hosting, and a month prior he had stated that a decision on the 2027 host was close.

Now, however, more than 15 months on from those comments a host has only just been decided, in a place that was not initially publicly cited as an interested party.

Hasan Arat, an EOC executive committee member, stated at the time (October 2022) that the EOC had hoped to have announced a host before the 2023 edition of the European Games, hosted in Kraków-Małopolsk, Poland, a hope that did not come to fruition.

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Before Kraków-Małopolsk, the second edition of the European Games was hosted in Minsk, Belarus, in 2019 while the first edition took place in 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Although it was the sole bidder to host the games, Turkey’s success was predicated on Istanbul’s suitability to host the games from the off.

Istanbul, as stated in Turkey’s event plan, will require no additional construction to host the games beyond what is already existing, or currently planned.  

Securing the event also supports Istanbul’s bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games.

The city was unsuccessful in bids to host the Olympics in 2000, 2008, and 2020, and the Turkish National Olympic Committee seemingly hoped that hosting the 2027 European Games, as well as its underway bid to host the 2027 European Para Championships, would prove its capabilities for hosting the 2036 Olympics.

Other countries in the race to host the 2036 Olympics include Indonesia, which aims to host it in its prospective new capital city of Nusantara, and India, which is reportedly weighing up a bid centered around the city of Ahmedabad.