I’m the first to admit that every time I hear reference to Istanbul, that infectious song gets stuck in my head. But Turkey’s most populous city has left its footprint in the history of world civilization without help from some cheesy song.
In 2010, Istanbul will be celebrated as a capital of European culture with yearlong events, the opening of new exhibits and museums, renovations of landmarks and performances by artists from around the globe. In preparation, the city has renovated landmark attractions and even opened new museums. Renovations include the Ataturk Culture Center, the Topkapi Palace museum and the Hagia Sophia, one of the world’s most famous churches and mosques. Istanbul has also opened the Maslak Culture Center as a venue for performing arts and commenced a Frank Gehry-designed opera house.
The events will follow the theme “A City of Four Elements” to help the city organize the yearlong celebration. Jan. 1 through March 20 will represent the “Earth” period, where archaeological excavations will be showcased, exhibits illustrating the city’s historical development will be featured and the influence of Ottoman Istanbul is detailed. March 21 through June 21 will represent “Air” and will feature multicultural and inter-religious events. “Water” will take place from June 22 through Sept. 22 and boast two weeklong presentations of music, art and food from numerous European countries in waterfront districts of Istanbul. Ending the yearlong celebration “Fire,” which takes place Sept. 22 through Dec. 31, will focus on Turkey’s contemporary art scene.
Plan your 2010 trip to Istanbul on TravelMuse.