Yapı Kredİ Publishing is resuming operations in its historic building in Galatasaray Square where it has operated for more than 50 years. The Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts building is a candidate to become one of the iconic structures of İstiklal Street.
Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts, which has been active since 1964 on İstiklal Street, has been opened again after the completion of renovation works. The building, which attracts attention with its glass front overlooking Galatasaray Square, will be the meeting point of culture and art enthusiasts in Istanbul with a bookstore, museum, exhibition, library and event areas.
People passing through Galatasaray Square can witness culture and art events at the center, which has been formed all-inclusively thanks to its transparent and inviting front. The Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts building also hosts İlhan Koman's "Mediterranean," the most well-known sculpture in Turkey.
"While the embracing of humanity and their love is being told, the Mediterranean has come to my mind. It was huge and it was a sea of us. I wanted to reflect embracing with this name," Koman said.
Regarding his sculpture, this work salutes İstiklal Street from the third floor of the building. "Mediterranean" also embraces with the abstract sculpture made by Şadi Çalık in honor of the 50th year of the Turkish Republic.
On the entrance floor of the building, a high-ceiling, elegant bookstore comprised of all the books of Yapı Kredi Publishing, comes together with visitors.
In the bookstore, which houses a reading area on the mezzanine, there are also special areas for children's books and children's events.
The museum, featuring bank collections on the first floor, has exhibition halls on its second and third floors and a great hall on the fourth floor which can be seen from the square.
In the words of Kazım Taşkent, who is the founder of Yapıkredi, "We are the bank of culture and art."
These words are written in blue neon lights on the wall across this hall, which will host theaters, interviews, conferences, performances and film screenings.
A library suitable for Istanbul greets people of the city on the fifth floor of the historic building. This library, where you will find nearly 80,000 books, 4,000 of which are rare works, presents a quiet place away from the liveliness of İstiklal Street for literature lovers.
"Spiral," the opening exhibition of the Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts building, can be visited from Sept. 13 until the end of the year. Curated by Dr. Necmi Sönmez, "Spiral" reflects Yapı Kredi's culture art accumulations and its perspective on art collections.
A total of 403 pieces all from the Yapı Kredi Collection and comprised of different works such as coins, sculptures, paintings, photographs and video arts, greets viewers.
There are also works that will be exhibited for the first time in "Spiral" which features many pieces from the Karagöz Collection, ranging from ancient coins, to modern painting and current art.
The first Turkish female artist Mihri Müşfik's auto portrait and Sultan Selim III's music notebook are among these works. The flag of the Esztergom Fortress and works showing the 3-D face of İstiklal Street are prominent in the exhibition.
An established tradition of culture and arts
Tülay Güngen, the general director of Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts Publishing, stated that Yapı Kredi has been carrying out works in order to make culture and art an irreplaceable element in the lives of more people for 73 years.
Implying that this mission is being made a legacy with the building of Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts, Güngen said, "This building, a gift of Yapı Kredi to the city of Istanbul, is one of the most important symbols of our belief in our country's culture and art. Our continuous support that began with the first exhibition opened here in 1964 and continues from the same point."
"We need to increase the number of opportunities in our building that has been on İstiklal Street for more than 50 years, with the development of culture and art life in Istanbul. We aim to create a bookstore, museum exhibition, library and event areas with new designs and applications," she said.
"The building, which was renewed with the soul of the time, is a gift from Yapı Kredi. The return of our building is a pleasure, a great honor for us. We will be the supporter of art, artists and art lovers once again. We will continue to work for the introduction of universal cultural assets and for the development of the future generation's cultural accumulations. We believe that this construction will take the role of making İstiklal Street, in which art is breathed, an attraction center creating excitement," she added.
Wise solutions broaden horizons for structures
Explaining that the building is being renovated in accordance with contemporary standards, Güngen said, "Yapı Kredi has a large collection. We have mulled over and worked hard for establishing both our collection and other art events in a place that has been equipped with better opportunities."
"The bookstore, museum, exhibition halls and event areas that create the basic construction of the building have been designed with the perspective of enlarging the culture and art function. We now have exhibition and event areas that are technically equipped. The exhibition halls of the building have increased two fold with new designs. The more we live and work in there, the more it will enlarge by getting vary," she said.
Anthology ranging from Abidin Dino to Esztergom Fortress Flag
Speaking about the exhibition titled "Spiral," which is from the Yapı Kredi collection and collected under 12 titles, Güngen said, "We have decided to bring together the reasons of existing and our present values to light with the inspiration that we take from our return."
"Therefore, we have given the name 'Spiral' to the exhibition that we have prepared around the concepts of old-new and past-future. Various works and the difference in historical periods present us a large range. Current poets and writers have also begun to address the problems of our period with discussions and feedback. They have made references to our works in publishing as well, in a way," the general director added.
"The exhibition greets art lovers with a wide range of works including shadow shows, figures, coin collections, the photographs of Selahhatin Giz, who has made a visual record of the 1930s and 1940s of the Republic era and the Esztergom Fortress Flag," she said.
"We believe that the exhibition's painting collection comprised of the works of Turkish painting's prominent figures from different periods including Osman Hamdi Bey, İbrahim Balaban, Abidin Dino and Ömer Uluç, will attract visitors. This special anthology from our collection, in which young artist's works also participated, can be visited between Sept. 13 and Dec. 31, 2017," she concluded.
The exhibition is open, free of charge, on the following days:
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.