Recently, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş attended the traditional Bayram (Eid al-Fitr) ceremony and baklava feast at Topkapı Palace. Kurtulmuş talked about the event's aim, "Sustaining of past traditions are actually important to make a connection between past and present. Those who do not know where they come from cannot know how to improve strongly in the future."
Highlighting that culture and art are mostly transferred to the next generations with tradition, Kurtulmuş added, "I want to explain that this ceremony was organized with the aim of reminding people what we lived in the past, protecting our important traditions in history, accepting these past beauties as a richness of our roots and transferring them to our future."
'AKM is a prestigious project for Turkey'
Kurtulmuş informed members of the press about the future cultural and art projects that will be conducted in Istanbul after the event.
Noting that renovation works are still continuing at Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM) in Taksim Square, Kurtulmuş said, "We can say that the AKM will become a cultural site featuring one of the biggest opera building in the world. It is a perfect complex housing reading, conference halls and mini screening rooms. One of the most important features of the building is that every show in the halls will be seen on the exterior face of it. Therefore, citizens and tourists will watch them in Taksim Square, which will be beautiful with environmental arrangements."
The minister announced that the building will be opened in 2019.
Kuleli Military High School.
Rami Barracks to meet readers
Kurtulmuş explained that the Rami barracks will be transformed into a modern library.
"The barracks will be a perfect cultural center, which is called a kıraathane, a reading house with a coffee concept, by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. There will be nearly seven million books, and everything about books, such as the production of ink and paper, will be presented. People will be able to have a talk in interactive meeting halls, as well."
He said they also started new work on the transformation of Kuleli Military High School into a national museum,
"Let's say a foreign guest comes to Turkey and stays for a night. If he or she wants to learn about the past and accumulation of Turkey, they will be able to do so at this national museum, where past civilizations in Turkey can be seen in just a few hours."
The Rami Barracks will be turned into a library.
Libraries will be cultural centers
Kurtulmuş highlighted that within the context of the project entitled "Living Libraries," which was started all around the country, 71 public libraries in Turkey, especially the Beyazıt Library, have been prepared to satisfy all needs of users every day until 11:00 p.m.
He also said they want to turn libraries into cultural centers with the project.
"The concept of the kıraathanes, which our president mentioned, is being a cultural center. In this context, they are the places where people read, discuss and negotiate. In fact, in Beyazıt Library, Turkish music and Sufi music are performed at nights," he said.
Kurtulmuş also stated that 27 alteration and repair projects are continuing at Topkapı Palace.
"We have a dream about the palace. There are walls that we call Sur-u Sultani around this construction. Some of them do not belong to the palace now. After the restoration works, we want to add all of the walls and other public buildings in this area to the body of the palace and make it a cultural basin. Our other dream about the palace is to make the area, including the French Prison and Sepetçiler Pavilion, a place of culture, art and tourism, directing the traffic underground and to present it to the service of people. These five important projects are mega projects that we give importance to strengthen the culture and art of Istanbul. They will be completed in some years," he said.
Drawing attention to the fact that they want to create a cultural heritage from Istanbul with the mega projects, Kurtulmuş stressed, "Our ancestry left Istanbul as a perfect heritage to us. We will make it a cultural treasure, revealing every hidden place. We are trying to create an Istanbul where the public and guests can penetrate to culture, art, history and tradition not an Istanbul comprising of only palaces. We can protect the heritage that we inherit in this way."
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