During the press conference in Brussels, Jeremy Isaacs, Chairman of the jury, which was to decide on bids in the non-EU-member category by Istanbul and Kiev to hold the title of European Capital of Culture in 2010, announced the winner - Istanbul.
As a reminder, under the relevant regulations, the competitors for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2010 were to be selected in the spring of 2006. Official presentations of the bids by Istanbul and Kiev were scheduled for 14 March.
The cities vying for the title are Pécs in Hungary and Essen (Ruhrgebiet) and Görlitz (Saxony) in Germany.
In the non-EU-member category, Istanbul in Turkey was competing against Kiev in Ukraine.
Since 2005, non-EU countries are also entitled to participate in the project, but such applications will not be accepted for the years after 2010. Kiev submitted its application on 19 February 2004. The dossier was presented in Brussels on 24 February 2006. The title of the city's bid is 'Crossroad of cultures.'
Istanbul's formal application process started in 2003. The dossier was presented in Brussels in late 2005. The proposed theme for the city is: 'Istanbul: A city of the four elements.'
According to Alexander Omelchenko, the mayor of Kiev, his city will develop as a "single harmonious cultural and economic ensemble" during the years leading up to 2010. Omelchenko also heads the organisational committee for the city's bid.
Nuri Colakoglu, chairman of the Executive Committee of Istanbul 2010 ECOC Initiative and vice president of the media group Dogan, believes that "Istanbul as a European Capital of Culture can serve as a showcase of living together."
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