Istanbul has expressed an interest in hosting the next edition of the European Games multi-sport event in 2027.

Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu confirmed the Turkish city’s intention to be a candidate to stage the fourth edition of the quadrennial event, during the European Olympic Committees’ (EOC) recent 52nd general assembly (also in Istanbul).

The move is part of Turkey’s 40-year ambition to host the Olympic Games as İmamoğlu also expressed Istanbul’s interest in hosting the 2036 edition of that major sporting event (it failed with a bid for the 2008 edition).

The third European Games was held in Krakow and the Malopolska region of Poland this year and İmamoğlu has now expressed his determination for Istanbul to host the 2027 iteration, explaining that doing so would send a strong message to Europe and the world.

He said: “We are determined to organize the European Games in Istanbul in 2027. Istanbul is a city ready for the European Games with all of its means. We believe that organizing the games in Istanbul will send a strong message to Europe and the rest of the world.

“Istanbul is the largest metropolitan area in Europe and would create an amazing synergy for the European Olympic Committees and European sports.”

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İmamoğlu added: “We had a positive and productive meeting with [EOC] president Spyros Capralos and I was happy to learn that we had similar visions and shared common views on sport. We want to host the 2027 European Games in Istanbul and we are ready to organize the games.”

Istanbul, in terms of major recent sporting events, staged the final of last season's UEFA Champions League, European soccer's elite men's club competition, at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium. That venue was completed in 2002, as part of the failed 2008 Olympics bid.

Capralos, meanwhile, has welcomed Turkey’s expression of interest and has said he believes that Istanbul has the facilities to host the event in four years’ time.

He said: “Turkey has already demonstrated it can successfully organize major international sports events. If Istanbul decides that it would like to host the fourth edition of the European Games, the EOC would be delighted to work with the city on that potential opportunity.

“To host a big event like the European Games, close cooperation is required between the national Olympic committee, the city and the government.

“The success that we saw in Poland in June and July has shown that hosting the European Games can be achieved with a strict budget. We have also seen a great legacy left in Krakow and Malopolska following the upgrading of local venues.”

These positive comments on Istanbul potentially hosting the 2027 European Games from Capralos come despite the president having said two years ago that ideally, the event would be taking place in the west of the continent.

Around 7,000 athletes from 48 countries took part this year in Krakow and Malopolska from June 21 to July 2.

The first edition of the European Games took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2015, before the event headed to Minsk, Belarus, in 2019.