This is owed not only to the strategic significance of its geographical position, but also to the city’s identity as a centre of experience accumulation in culture, arts, science and technology. With a settlement history of more than thousands of years, this rooted city presents an absolute harmony of culture and civilization.
Ottoman Empire kept Istanbul as its capital for a long while, although many great and important cities such as Jerusalem, Thessaloniki, Sarajevo, Skopje, Mostar and Plovdiv, were within the empire borders. Together with the proclamation of the republic, Istanbul had to hand this title over to the newly developing Ankara. Despite this change, the city continued to function as an eternal capital and always attracted intense attention.
Istanbul is takes the title of European Capital of Culture for 2010. With this wonderful occasion, the city once more will become a current issue on the global agenda. In this context, the entire world, especially Europe has focused on the ever-inspiring atmosphere of the city.
Meanwhile, the country has turned its face towards Istanbul with excitement and great interest.
Fascinating everyone with its breathtaking beauty, this city nowadays is preparing to charm all its admirers with the plentiful cultural study and activities to be carried out within the scope of Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture project.
Istanbul is more like an enigmatic island waiting to be explored even for ardent Istanbulites. The city itself, its enduring cultural heritage, the kinesis of the contemporary arts and more…All these are waiting for the attention of the people, primarily of the people residing in the city.
Therefore, one of the targets in the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture process is to elevate this attention. The rich versatility of the projects united with the dynamism of the city will surely improve the participation of the young population. Istanbul 2010 ECOC project will be an interactive energy platform in this sense. The value and beauty of the city will be re-explored through this energy.
Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture process was initiated and developed under a completely civil participative structure. The project, which was first launched as a civil society initiative in 2000, grew further, receiving the support of several segments of the society and state. In this respect, the nature of the process has always been open to interaction and dynamism. Thus, the Istanbul 2010 ECOC Agency, founded to carry out the project, was structured accordingly. The Agency maintained coordination of relevant studies and efforts planned by public and non-governmental organizations and institutions. With this governance model, employed for the first time in Turkey, an Executive Board, comprised of the delegates of non-governmental organizations, chambers of industry and commerce and public institutions, was formed. In the decision-making and evaluation processes, views of leading culture and art experts were taken. Each step of the project was made in compliance with EU standards.
As Istanbul 2010 ECOC Agency, the basic mission adopted is to protect the great cultural heritage of Istanbul and to share this wealth with the entire world, primarily with Europe. The third strategic part of the project in conjunction with the culture-art and tourism-promotion activities is the work on cultural heritage. Being the most significant contribution to the process of being a European Capital of Culture these studies are expected to remain beyond 2010. Istanbul has numerous eternal artworks and oeuvres, some of which are still waiting to be explored and unearthed. One should be confident that the Agency is extremely sensitive in these matters and is spending the utmost effort to restore them properly to re-offer them to the culture and art life of the city.
Consequently, starting from 2010, this fact will be reconfirmed: As it has always been in the past, Istanbul is a great capital of culture and civilization.
Istiklal Caddesi Atlas Pasaj
No: 131 Beyoglu 34435 Istanbul – Turkey
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