After visits by Bernie Ecclestone to Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya in August this year, the Turkish motor sports federation (TOMSFED) announced Istanbul has been chosen to host a Grand Prix in 2005. German circuit constructor Herman Tilke, who was responsible for the Sepang track in Malaysia as well as being involved in other new circuits to be built, is due to complete plans early in 2003.

A contract has yet to be signed and the FIA hasn't confirmed the deal but reportedly Ecclestone has decided on Istanbul and it just remains for tv rights and commercial income to be finalized.

"We sincerely believe that this organization, which will provide a great opportunity for our country, will also benefit tourism and sports in Turkey," said a statement issued by TOMSFED.

More and more new venues are being lined up for future races and the traditional European tracks could be under threat. Spa-Francorchamps has already been axed after problems with anti-tobacco legislation to be introduced by Belgium.

Turkish anti-smoking factions are thought to be opposing the decision to host a race as F1 may require an exemption to Turkey's cigarette advertising ban.