Taksim will soon be closed to all vehicle traffic and be the host of Europe’s biggest opera house, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
Attending the launch of the 10-volume series about the “The Great Istanbul History from Antiquity to the 21st Century” in Istanbul, President Erdoğan announced Saturday that a historical museum and an opera house will be built in Taksim.
Reassuring that the historical fabric of the area would be preserved and that the opera house would be constructed in a way that reflects Istanbul’s rich historical past and aesthetic, Erdoğan said that this project carried special importance for the youth of Turkey.
Stating that history was ‘a compass shaping the future,’ the president said that attacks targeting schools in Turkey were hurting Turkey’s youth and for this reason they needed to be educated better on the history of their country.
“We need to re-evaluate, re-interpret recent events, developments in our country and our region in the light of history,” he said, adding: “History is not only the story of the past.”
The president also signaled many new projects for Istanbul, which he stated will help the city take a step forward.
The opera house is planned be built in place of the Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM), Turkey’s first opera house and multi-purpose cultural center.
Built in the 1960s, the AKM building resembles the colossal and simple architecture of the former Soviet Union.
Sources have said that a design competition for the opera house project is expected to be held, in efforts to choose the best architecture and design suitable for the city’s one of the most visited districts.