It is now certain that the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Istanbul. In addition, TRT (Turkish broadcaster) came down to two different venue choices: Mydonose Showland or Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Convention & Exhibition Center.
The 10-member delegation from the EBU visited Turkey last week in order to observe the possible host cities and the venues. According to the General Coordinator of the Eurovision Song Contest and TRT Ankara Radio's Director General, Bülent Osma, the EBU delegation had certain criteria for the host city. One of the most important of these is that the host city should have the embassies or the consulates of the countries, which will be competing in next year's contest. Therefore, Antalya was ruled out immediately. It was decided that Istanbul was the most appropriate city, since it met this criterion, and also it has the most suitable venue choices. In addition, Istanbul is the most easily accessible city when one comes to Turkey from abroad.
According to Osma, the venue should be available between 15th of April and 15th of May next year. Osma said that Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Convention & Exhibition Center is available for these dates. However, this particular venue is located over an intense traffic route. On the other hand, if the event takes place at Mydonose Showland , then it is possible to host the guests in hotels close to this venue such as, Radisson SAS and Holiday Inn.
Apparently, the EBU delegation was satisfied with both choices. TRT is required to submit its choice of venue to the EBU by the end of July and then wait for its approval.