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Thu 20 Feb 2014 12:13 PM

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Turkey pulls out of Milan Expo 2015 over Italy’s backing of Dubai 2020

Turkish report claims decision not to exhibit came after İzmir lost out to the emirate in the Paris vote last year

Turkey pulls out of Milan Expo 2015 over Italy’s backing of Dubai 2020

Turkey has pulled out of participation in the World Expo 2015 in Milan, with a Turkish newspaper reporting the reason is down to the fact Italy did not back İzmir’s bid to host the 2020 event and supported Dubai instead.

“We will most probably not participate in the expo. The decision is not political,” a Turkish diplomatic told the Hürriyet Daily News of its decision to pull out of Milan's World Expo 2015 event. The move comes despite Turkey signing a signing a Participation Protocol with Italy in 2012.

Italian officials in Milan are said to be shocked by the move as no official reason for the withdrawal has been given.

However, the report said rumours suggested that one reason could be Italy’s support of Dubai's successful bid to host the World Expo 2020, despite allegedly promising to support İzmir in the run up to the vote in Paris in November last year.

İzmir previously lost out to Milan in its bid to host the 2015 event, which will take place between May 1 and October next year.

The report also speculated that the cost of staging Turkey's exhibition space, which was estimated at $15m, was also a factor.

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