The foundation of Atatürk Cultural Center at Taksim in Istanbul was laid by President Erdoğan at a ceremony where he delivered a speech saying that the center will be a monument of glory erected against the conflicting minds with the history and culture of Turkish people.
In his speech, Erdogan said: “We have reached a new stage for the realization of the Istanbul Atatürk Cultural Center which we first introduced with a presentation project on 6th November 2017.
There will be an opera hall above the world standards for 2073 people, a theater hall with 828 seats, a stage, backstage rooms and foyer areas etc. We wish Istanbul and Turkey the best regarding this project with a total investment value of TL 860 million. We will complete it in a short period of two years and put it at the service of our artists and art lovers.”
Started in 2007, investigations by different institutions revealed that the old building was no longer useable. After the earthquake, this place was unbearable. Again, some other reports have shown that the old building has no difference from a shanty in terms of earthquake resistance. More importantly, the old building was no longer able to meet the expectations of Istanbul with its population of more than 15 million, the number of foreign tourists every year and the increasing demand for art. Today we are enjoying the fruits of our ten-year-long patience.
“Istanbul will find itself with this project. We are building a work of art that will be the symbol of our struggle to bring our country to the bright future. Above all, Istanbul Atatürk Cultural Center will be a monument of glory erected against the mindset confronting the values, beliefs of the nation and the history, culture of our people.”
Erdoğan noted that the number of cultural centers in Turkey had risen to 115 from 42 in the last 17 years, and the number of state theater stages had reached 65. The president also shared that a giant library would be opened at Istanbul’s Rami neighborhood in the district of Eyüpsultan and the historical Rami Artillery Barracks would be converted into the country’s biggest library containing 6 million books.