Napoleon once said, "If the whole world was a single country, Istanbul would be the capital".
Electing Istanbul to the European Capital of Culture will be a great opportunity to reinforce the communication and cultural dialogue between the two communities once more.
The candidacy of Istanbul for ECOC-2010 should be regarded as a sign of our commitment to the cultural convergence of the Turkish civil society and the government to the European Union. The Istanbul ECOC-2010 Organizational Committee's structure is composed of various NGO's, backed by enterprises and local authorities and bodies of the central government. On the European Summit of the 17th of December 2005 and the progress report of October 6th, the European Council and the Commission underlined the need to develop communication and dialogue between Turkey and the Union. Istanbul becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2010 will definitely address to the decision of the European Summit. The candidacy will reflect Turkey's, especially Istanbul's multidimensional Europeanization and the strength of the civil society in Istanbul.
Istanbul's preparation towards 2010 and activities will educate the European public opinion regarding Turkish culture and the Turkish public opinion regarding the European culture.
As one of the oldest human settlements of the greater Eurasian area, Istanbul has attracted various European artists and European refugees from different backgrounds. Political, economical, religious and social evolutions and revolutions have left great residues in Istanbul's character.
More importantly, we hope that through the intense participation of the crowds, art and culture will reach out to those members of the community, who were insufficiently provided with these two crucial activities. The international jury will receive the presentation by Istanbul initiative, of which I'm a part of, on March 14th, and will make a decision. The success of Istanbul 2010 relies heavily and will result in Enthusiastic Participation of the Istanbulite.