Istanbul’s Closed Doors Are Being Opened

ALL THE PLACES YOU WANTED TO SEE BUT COULDN’T UP TO NOW ARE GOING TO BE SPREAD BEFORE YOUR EYES THIS SUMMER!

There’s a big surprise in store for visitors to Istanbul! The restoration projects that have been under way since 2008 under the auspices of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency have finally come to an end. A hundred and fifty eight treasures of the city’s cultural heritage, among them the Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque, the Süleymaniye Complex and the Darüşşifa, are opening their doors.

Home to a display of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, the Topkapı Palace Kitchens are just one of the museum’s sections slated to open to the public in June. An exhibition titled Ottoman Cuisine to be mounted here includes details like the sultan’s dinner table, a table laid for guests, and the Ottoman traditions of serving coffee and halvah. Other architecturally characteristic structures to open in the Palace Museum include the Baghdad, Revan and Sofa Pavilions, the İncirlik and Lala Gardens, Sofa Mosque and the Gate of the Mecidiye Towers.

Also among the historic structures that have been brought back to life in the restorations and renovations mounted by the 2010 European Capital Culture Agency are the Galata Mevlevi Lodge, Surp Vortvots Vorodman Armenian Church, the Arab Mosque, the Haseki Complex and Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque.

FIRST MOSQUE IN ISTANBUL FROM WHICH THE CALL TO PRAYER WAS RECITED
One of the Latin churches built under the Latin Empire that was established in Istanbul following the Fourth Crusade, the so-called Arab Mosque went down in history as the first mosque where the ‘ezan’ or Islamic call to prayer was recited by the Muslim Arabs who came to conquer the city in 717 A.D.

A SMALL-SCALE REPLICA OF THE HAGIA SOPHIA
Cleared of the dust of centuries, Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque, which was commissioned to the Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan by High Admiral Kılıç Ali in the 16th century, is opening its doors to visitors.