By Duncan Mackay

Hasan Arat_with_London_2012_Olympic_Torch_on_arrival_at_Istanbul_airport_May_27_2012June 13 - Istanbul 2020 today launched a worldwide public competition for the selection of its logo for its campaign to host the Olympics and Paralympics, which bid leader Hasan Arat (pictured right) promised would become "famous".

Five potential logos submitted by professional designers have been published on Istanbul's website and the public have until June 20 to choose their favourite. 

Turkish officials are confident that the competition will generate high levels of interest in the country, with support for the Istanbul 2020 bid revealed in last month's International Olympic Committee (IOC) Working Group report already at 73 per cent.

Once the logo is decided, the overall look of the bid and supporting design for a new web site and promotional materials will be developed.

Unlike rivals Madrid and Tokyo, Istanbul did not have a logo during the first phase of the bid. 

But they now hope to harnass the enthusiasm for the bid with this new competition.

"Last month's IOC Working Group report revealed that Istanbul 2020 has incredibly strong Government and Public Support and the national excitement generated by the decision to make Istanbul a Candidate City demonstrates what this means to our country," said Arat.

"The winning designer will have the honour of knowing they have created a logo that represents a bid backed by all levels of Government and enjoys the full support of the people of Turkey - the Istanbul 2020 Candidate City logo will be famous throughout our nation."

Istanbul 2020_logos_cropped

The winning logo be sent to the IOC for approval before it is announced to the world in time for London 2012.

Among the ideas several feature a tulip, the symbol of Istanbul, while, as you would expect, the idea of linking Europe and Asia figures strongly.

Another idea is swirling figures which is supposed to represent Istanbul as a modern city that preserves its traditional roots. 

"Turkey is a nation filled with millions of educated, talented young people - most of whom support Istanbul 2020," said Arat.

"So it is no surprise to see several of the shortlisted logo designs coming from our nation's talented young designers.

"I am sure that whichever logo is selected, it will help us to promote our national dream to host a Games that, for the first time ever, spans two continents and provides a bridge to unite and inspire the next generation all over the world."

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