Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has opened the facilities of the 17th Mediterranean Games, which will be hosted in the southern province of Mersin between June 20 and 30.
Erdoğan opened the Servet Tazegül Sports Hall, with a capacity of hosting 25,000 people. The hall was named after Turkey’s gold medal winning taekwondo athlete in the 2012 London Games.
Erdoğan said he observed the stadium with a helicopter while flying over it and that he felt “pride” with what he saw.
Erdoğan said Turkey had succeeded in finishing the facilities in a short period of time even though the games had originally been given to Volos in Greece.
“We have done a great job in Mersin in a short time. It was supposed to be held in Greece’s Volos city, but due to the financial crisis, it could not be realized. They asked if we could do it. We accepted it. Under normal conditions, countries are informed six years before the games, but we successfully completed [the preparations] despite being informed only 18 months ago,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also promised to attend the opening ceremony of the games on June 20 as well.
The games will take place in 54 facilities around the city, 11 of which are brand-new. Athletes from 54 countries will participate in the events.