IMAMOGLU: WE DO NOT CARRY SENTIMENTS LIKE ‘CONSTRUCTION PROFITS,’ ‘COUPON LAND’ WITHIN US
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) Heritage, through its efforts, has reintroduced the 200-year-old historical structure Feshane to Istanbul’s cultural and artistic life. With its new name, ‘ArtIstanbul Feshane,’ it is now at the service of Istanbul and the art world, with the participation of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Adana Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Zeydan Karalar, and Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer. Speaking at the opening, İmamoğlu said, “Love for Istanbul can be expressed with different emotions in daily life. But we don’t really harbor sentiments like construction profits, coupon land, and so on. We value heritage. Heritage is important. But it becomes significant if it is preserved and taken care of. However, if you behave like heritage eaters, may God protect us. Of course, this attitude and approach can sometimes cause the city to lose a lot.”
The Cultural Assets Department of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) has completed the first phase of a restoration project that will add value to the city’s cultural and artistic life. Feshane, a historical building of approximately 200 years, has been reopened to Istanbulites and the world heritage under the name “ArtIstanbul Feshane,” thanks to the meticulous work of IBB Heritage teams. ArtIstanbul Feshane opened its doors to art lovers with the participation of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Adana Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Zeydan Karalar, Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer, and a large group of guests, including former Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayors Ali Müfit Gürtuna. During the opening, speeches were given by Maria Rose, the youngest exhibiting artist, art critic, writer, and contemporary art curator Beral Madra, Deputy Secretary-General of IBB Mahir Polat, and İmamoğlu.
“WE VALUE HERITAGE”
Expressing his gratitude to everyone involved in the transformation of ArtIstanbul Feshane, İmamoğlu said, “Istanbul is a very different and special city. Being able to govern Istanbul starts with positioning it as a sacred trust. We are a team that always feels the responsibility of this city’s ancient history. And we never let go of this feeling. These are special and noble sentiments that always guide us in the right direction. Love for Istanbul can be expressed with different emotions in daily life. But our emotions are not like those. Some sentiments don’t occupy us much; sentiments like construction profits, coupon land, and so on. We value heritage. When my friends presented me with the brand ‘IBB Heritage,’ I was deeply affected. It is important for this brand to reach its deserved place today. Heritage is important, but it becomes significant if it is preserved and taken care of. However, if you behave like heritage eaters, may God protect us. Of course, this attitude and approach can sometimes cause the city to lose a lot. In contrast to their perspectives, we have meticulously prepared and continue to prepare the truly forgotten areas of the city or areas that have been somewhat neglected, lost, or put aside with other sentiments, for the future.”
“WHEN WE LOOK AT ISTANBUL, WE SEE A PRICELESS HERITAGE”
“When we look at Istanbul, we see a unique world heritage, a priceless legacy of our ancestors,” said İmamoğlu, and added:
“We are creating a journey in this city to bring this heritage, this legacy to 16 million Istanbulites in the most accurate way, meeting all their needs. We also look at it in terms of the existence of historical and cultural continuity and see that Istanbul can offer you every opportunity. The Historical Fener Houses, the Historical Walls of Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern, Botter Apartments, Metro Inn, Saint Pierre Inn, Gülhane Cistern, Troleybus Library, Cendere Art Museum, Museum Gazhane, Haydarhane Mosque, Seyyid Velayet Tomb, Anadolu Fortress, and soon, Rumeli Fortress, Taş Mektep, and others… I can see how these places warm people’s hearts when a lost place comes to life. They gain an incredible spirit by restoring them and putting an end to their neglected and ruined states. I believe everyone can feel the presence of a healing spirit here. I am proud to add Feshane to this beautiful list today.”
“WE ARE MAKING THE GOLDEN HORN A MEETING POINT OF HISTORY, ART, AND CULTURE FROM END TO END.”
With the reopening of Feshane, İmamoğlu emphasized the special process that the Golden Horn has undergone. He stated, “Unfortunately, due to a flawed design, a significant portion of the Golden Horn was left incomplete and had to be completely rebuilt from scratch, with almost three kilometers being dismantled. By finishing the tram that just passed through here and completing the remaining one kilometer, which will reach Eminönü Square at the end of August, we have provided Istanbul with a brand new, sparkling, approximately 800,000 square meters of green space in this area. Of course, while accomplishing this, we have also gifted Istanbul with new art spaces, as well as cultural and recreational areas on both the Balat and Kasımpaşa sides, through the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The Water Sports Center, which we opened last week right across from here, has become a special point for providing sports opportunities in this unique geography of Istanbul, known as the ‘Golden Horn.’ In addition, with the addition of the works carried out by a special institution called ‘Tersane Haliç’ (Shipyard Golden Horn), we are turning the Golden Horn into a meeting point for history, art, and culture, spanning from one end to the other.”
Following İmamoğlu’s speech, a “mapping” show was organized, providing a visual spectacle in the skies of the Golden Horn. The opening concluded with a concert by jazz artist, pianist, and composer Kerem Görsev.
FIRST EXHIBITION: STARTING FROM THE MIDDLE
Feshane, an approximately 200-year-old historical structure and one of Istanbul’s tourist attractions, houses a biennial area, temporary exhibition spaces, a store conference hall, a library, and a café in an area of 8,000 square meters. At the opening of Artİstanbul Feshane, which will bring cultural and artistic activities concentrated in certain centers of the city to the shores of the Golden Horn, the exhibition titled “Starting from the Middle,” featuring the works of 300 artists, also met art enthusiasts. Artİstanbul Feshane presents itself as an industrial heritage reflecting the tradition of guilds in the Ottoman era. It is considered an important link in the transition from traditional production to mass production within the factory system. Hence, the establishment of Feshane-i Amire is regarded as one of the most significant developments in the weaving and garment industry of the Ottoman Empire.