ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Turkey's sports minister has accepted the apology from the governor of Tokyo for criticizing Istanbul's bid for the 2020 Olympics.

Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kilic says "we now wish for a friendly competition between the candidate cities abiding by the criteria established by the IOC."

Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose apologized Tuesday after he was quoted in The New York Times as suggesting Istanbul was less developed and less equipped to host the games than the Japanese capital. Madrid is also bidding for the games.

Inose was also quoted as saying "the only thing (Muslim countries) share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes."

Kilic says "we place the utmost importance on the friendship and mutual respect between the peoples of Turkey and Japan that date back for centuries."