Turkey has constructed and renewed dozens of modern stadiums, and is expected to surpass a million in combined capacity this year.
In recent years, Turkey has completed or renewed 32 sports stadiums.
According to the data of the Youth and Sports ministry of Turkey, the total capacity of these stadiums, newly constructed and renovated by the state in the last two decades, has approached a million.
In the past week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated two modern stadiums in the cities of Izmir and Adana.
In Izmir, the inaugurated Gursel Aksel Stadium, home to the Goztepe football club, has a capacity of 20,000.
The president also attended, via video conference, last week’s inauguration ceremony of the New Adana stadium which will be used jointly by the city’s two rivals, Adanaspor and Adana Demirspor.
Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu said Turkey has revolutionised by establishing sport facilities, including stadiums, in the last 19 years.
“We demolished the stadiums, most of which were out of life, and built stadiums at international standards," Kasapoglu said.
Minister Kasapoglu underlined that Turkish stadiums are more modern than those in several other countries.
"When we look at our stadiums, we are very far ahead in terms of both innovation and construction quality” he added.
Pointing out that stadiums should not be considered as facilities where matches are played every week or every two weeks, Kasapoglu said, "These stadiums, which I call 'Living stadiums', serve our people 24/7 with their facilities for other branches, halls, cafes and restaurants, shops. Complexes."
Now, 11 stadiums are under construction around the country.
The construction of Izmir Alsancak, Ordu, Sinop, Tokat Erbaa, Manisa Turgutlu, Erzincan and Elazıg stadiums will be completed in 2021, and the combined capacity of the new and renewed stadiums will surpass a million this year.
Ready for the international organisations
The massive investments in sport infrastructures means Turkey should be competitive when bidding to host international tournaments in the near future.
The country’s largest Ataturk Olympic Stadium, which famously staged the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final when Liverpool came back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties, will host the decider again in 2021.
Two years ago, Turkey competed with Germany to host the 2024 UEFA Euro Cup, however, it lost the bid to Germany in a 12-4 vote.
The choice of the UEFA Euro Commission raised questions, given Germany's 2006 World Cup scandal and allegations of racism in its national football team at the time.
Turkey has made considerable progress in meeting requirements for hosting international tournaments - not only by building new stadiums, but also adding widespread accommodation and transportation infrastructure to go along with it.