Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı met with the culture and arts editors of Turkish newspapers on Friday. During the dinner at Topkapı Palace, Avcı made important statements regarding the hot topics on the agenda. With regard to the frequently discussed issue of the demolition and reconstruction of Atatürk Culture Center (AKM), Avcı said the AKM building needs restoration and stressed that if it is not reconstructed, it will collapse as it is quite old. He noted that it is crucial to construct a new building to use as an opera house to meet Istanbul's culture and arts requirements.
Recalling that some art circles have opposed the AKM's reconstruction with concern, Avcı asserted that these concerns are not necessary and that projects related to the construction of an opera house will become a landmark in the most critical part of the city. He pointed out that such opposition had again emerged during restoration talks concerning Emek Cinema, which was reconstructed according to its original design to serve its purpose. He pointed out that some art circles show extreme reactions to issues such as the reconstruction of arts and culture venues and the state's presence in the field of art yet, that these concerns are baseless.
Another topic on the agenda that Minister Avcı talked about was the Ephesus excavations. Excavations have been conducted by Australians for 120 years. Avcı stressed that the excavations, which halted two months ago, can be successfully carried out by Turkish academics and archaeologists. He noted that Turkey is a historical paradise and Turkish teams are more than qualified to conduct excavations and research at historical sites in Anatolia.
Last Thursday, Minister Avcı opened the 16th Century Genius: Matrakçı Nasuh exhibition featuring Ottoman artist Matrakçı Nasuh's works as a poet, calligraphist and muralist in his Paris visits.
Indicating that Matrakçı Nasuh is one of history's hidden geniuses, Avcı said, "A famous Ottoman philosopher, mathematician and historian who lived in the 16th century, Matrakçı Nasuh is an important scientist and artists who also proved himself as a sportsman, poet, artist, painter, calligraphist and miniature artist."
Avcı said that during this exhibition, which depicts Matrakçı Nasuh's talents in various disciplines in art, visitors could follow the course of his expeditions via his miniatures and observe the Ottoman Empire's artistic, chronological and political atmosphere in the 16thcentury. He added that the exhibition was organized to commemorate Matrakçı Nasuh on his 450th anniversary for lovers of art and culture in Paris, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Istanbul, Vienna, Tokyo and Antalya - a crucial development in terms of promoting one of Turkey's precious values.
The exhibition, which will remain open until Nov. 10 in Paris, will later be moved to the Museum of Islamic Art in Washington in December.