Atatürk Cultural Center

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Atatürk Cultural Center on Taksim Square, with the entrance of the Taksim station of the Istanbul Metro.
Front façade of Atatürk Cultural Center during May 19 celebrations.
Posters, banners and flags on the AKM building, during the 2013 protests.

Atatürk Cultural Center (1969-1977) (Turkish: Atatürk Kültür Merkezi) is in Istanbul, also simply called AKM. As the focal point of Taksim Square, it is not only a multi-purpose cultural center and opera house, but an icon of Istanbul. The AKM is considered an important example of Turkish architecture from the 1960s.[1]

A fire on November 27, 1970 during a performance required the complex to undergo significant repairs. The center has been closed since 2008, when a major refurbishment to bring the building up to date before Istanbul took over the title of European Capital of Culture in 2010. The AKM is a model of environmentally friendly preservation. The main visible addition are the louvers onto the aluminum façade as part of the energy-saving design strategy. The modernization works were designed by renowned Turkish architecture firm Tabanlıoğlu Mimarlık.[2]

In 2013 it was reported that the AKM is to be demolished as part of the proposed redevelopment plans for the Gezi Park and Taksim Square area and replace it with another opera house and a mosque.[3]

The complex[edit]

The complex comprises the "Grand Stage", a hall with a 1,307 seat capacity hosting theater acts of Turkish State Theatres and performances of the Turkish State Opera and Ballet, and the "Concert Hall", a second hall with a capacity of 502 seats for concerts, meetings and conferences as well as an exhibition hall of 1,200 m² at the entrance. There are also the "Chamber Theatre" with 296 seats, "Aziz Nesin Stage" with 190 seats and a cinema hall with 206 seats.

Until 2008, the center has been the home to the

  • Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and Choir (İstanbul Devlet Senfoni Orkestrası ve Korosu),
  • Istanbul State Modern Folk Music Ensemble (İstanbul Devlet Modern Halk Müziği Topluluğu) and
  • Istanbul State Classical Turkish Music Choir (İstanbul Devlet Klasik Türk Müziği Korosu).

During the summer and Information months, AKM has hosted the Istanbul Arts and Culture Festival.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1960's (Turkish Architecture in the Republican Period)". Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ Arkitera website in English
  3. ^ Plans for Gezi Park. BBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°02′12″N 28°59′16″E / 41.03667°N 28.98778°E / 41.03667; 28.98778