Istanbul Is Still Where It Used To Be!

Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture opens officially on January 16th.

And now is the time to rediscover it. From the fleeting smile of the old fisherman to the young girl’s admiring glance... The Galata Tower, Haydarpaşa Railroad Station, Ayasofya Museum - they have always been there. The Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency’s new ad campaign has grabbed us all. And the campaign’s extension abroad touts Istanbul as ‘the world’s most inspiring city’.

There is no doubt that the Yenikapı excavations and the Topkapı Palace restoration are some of the hottest topics of 2010. The excavation finds are well known. As for the palace, a total of 12 spaces - the Baghdad, Revan and Sofa Pavilions, as well as the Harem, the Tulip Garden, the Kitchens, the Tower of Justice and the Mecidiye Gate - are all undergoing restoration. A surprise awaits the Ayasofya Museum, too, in 2010 when the scaffolding that has been up for sixteen years will finally come down.

The Sur-i Sultani Project and Strategic Plan has already gone into action for the word’s most beautiful Museums Park. This project, which aims to tell the story of ‘One City and Three Worlds’ (Istanbul: The Ottoman World, the Byzantine World, the Classical World) is slated for completion in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Republic. The project encompasses Topkapı Palace, the Archaeological Museums, the Imperial Mint and Hagia Irini as well as other gardens and venues inside the ‘Sur-i Sultani’ or Ottoman city walls.

The Imperial Stables of Topkapı Palace Museum are hosting an exhibition entitled, ‘Ten Thousand Years of Iranian Civilization and the Two-Thousand-Year Common Heritage’. Backed by the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency, the exhibition consists of around 300 artifacts culled from the Iran National Museum and various museums in Turkey.

With everything from cuneiform tablets and examples of calligraphy to miniatures, tiles, and baked clay vessels and statues, the exhibition is divided into two parts: pre-Islamic and Islamic. Iranian literary figures such as Hafez, Ferdowsi, Jâmi, Sadî and Nizamî also figure prominently in the exhibition.
Through February 5, 2010.