Istanbul prepping to conclude reign as European capital of culture
Ahead of the end of Istanbul reign as European Capital of Culture later this year, officials in charge of its performing arts, music and opera, museums, visual arts, classical Turkish music and urban transformation looked back over the year at a press conference Tuesday at the Pera Palas Hotel. Sekip Avdagic, chairman of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency, said this was the first time Turkey saw such a large number of public institutions, private companies, nongovernmental organizations and artists collaborating on a single goal. He said the collaboration showed that Istanbul has many features befitting a European cultural capital. "Of course there were some mistakes, but we learned lessons from them and fixed them," he said. On the year's conclusion, Avdagic said, "The agency will finish its culture and art events on Dec. 31. There will be a completion process between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011. We won't do anything new in the field of culture and arts during this process. We will complete our ongoing projects, restorations, and renovations." Avdagic said even though the events would end, the agency's 80-member staff gained important experience to use in Istanbul's and Turkey's culture economy in the future.