Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid will compete to host the 2020 Olympics after Qatar's Doha and Azerbaijan's Baku were cut from the list yesterday.
The shortlist was announced at the International Olympic Committee's executive meeting in Quebec City.
Doha and Baku were rejected for a second time in a row after failing to make the final list for the 2016 Games.
The remaining cities will now embark on a lobbying period with the winner named on 7 September 2014 in Buenos Aires.
The 15-member executive board, headed by IOC president Jacques Rogge, chose the finalists after examining a technical evaluation report compiled by a panel of Olympic experts.
Japan's Tokyo hosted the Olympics in 1964, while neither Istanbul in Turkey nor Spain's Madrid has held the Games.
Madrid is bidding for a third consecutive time, Tokyo a second time in a row and Istanbul a fifth time overall.