LOCAL > Istanbul gets its own Disneyland on the Golden Horn


A theme park inspired by the world-famous Disneyland opens its doors in Istanbul. The project, located on 600,000 square meters of land, is set to employ 4,000 people

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Prime Minister Erdoğan (C) participates in a ceremony to mark the opening of Vialand, the theme park. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜREL

Prime Minister Erdoğan (C) participates in a ceremony to mark the opening of Vialand, the theme park. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜREL

The biggest entertainment park in Istanbul, Vialand, has opened its doors with a ceremony attended by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Vialand Istanbul close to thpe city’s Golden Horn region, claims to be the biggest shopping center with its park, aquapark, themepark and shopping center lying on a million-square meter area in Eyüp district.

The project was launched in September 2011 and has employed nearly 1,000 people in the construction stage and 4,000 people upon completion.

The 600,000-square meters project area, located within the Eyüp and Gaziosmanpasa Municipality borders, has the Transit European Motorway (TEM) to the North and the E5 Highway to the South.

Prime Minister Erdoğan said at the ceremony that the area used to be a stone pit when he was the Mayor of Istanbul between 1994 and 1998. Haliç, known as the Golden Horn, which connects to Istanbul’s Boshporus, had lost its habitat feature for sea animals but efforts were being made for it to re-gain its natural existence, Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan said it was a “love business” for him. “My people know that the AK Party [the ruling Justice and Development Party] holds its promises. We never cheated and we did not let anyone cheat us. Who would believe there was going to be a fun center in this area 10 years ago? Look now we have it. ... These are all about love. This is a business of love,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan also said his party could not stand idle by poverty and asked Vialand managers to set some free entrance days as well.

King Kong, Fatih Dark Ride

Vialand features main attractions such as the Rapid Ride, offering a fast-water rafting experience; Splash Coaster, combining natural waterfalls with the fun of a rollercoaster; and Family Coaster, an attraction for anyone who enjoys or might enjoy a rollercoaster.

The guests of the Park will find themselves swept away to a world inhabited by the legendary creature King Kong, and where they can wander the lively streets and squares where the old, mystical way of living in Istanbul is revived, its different cuisine and culture is presented with staff happy to be meeting guests’ needs, and full of many other surprises, wonders and smiles.

The Fatih Dark Ride entertainment unit will allow guests to take an exciting and educational trip through the Ottoman Empire period and witness Fatih the Conqueror take over Istanbul.

Including educational and informative activities particularly for kids of elementary or secondary school age along with all the fun, Vialand will also be undertaking many social responsibility projects.

Vialand also has shops in the old Istanbul style and Ottoman-style houses and buildings, a waterpark and kids fun center.


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5/29/2013 11:46:06 AM

<<< “My people know that the AK Party [the ruling Justice and Development Party] holds its promises<<< I laugh at this comment as Prime Minister Erdoğan promised a 50 meter Olympic size swimming pool and dive center here in Antalya more than 10 years ago and never kept this promise. As Antalya is still lacking suitable swim facilities for sports teams and competitive swimmers.

mara mcglothin

5/28/2013 7:02:33 PM

Since the general industry safety record in Turkey is sadly lacking, why would anyone put their children on a ride that was built and/or run and inspected in Turkey? Looks like many fatalities to come on this "park". Very sad.

An Observer

5/28/2013 11:21:36 AM

Lara, perhaps its an IQ issue...


5/27/2013 11:27:39 PM

Aside from all the negatives from the usual caring corners, this is a good development. Especially since there is no Micky Mouse involved. What do you think tourists coming to Istanbul want to experience? One less factory and one less gecekondu gets my full approval. When CHP comes to power they can add an Ergenekon ride.


5/27/2013 7:52:46 PM

american: splendid idea! I want to take the "The Horror! The Horror!" boat ride up the River Senne in Brussels.

lara ulusoy

5/27/2013 6:25:55 PM

HDN : Why don't we see the pro-Erdogan groups commenting here ever and there are so many in reality? Does this come from the famous saying "Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer :) ?" My God, not one word uttered or idea expressed or accomplished if this bunch does not pick on it and what's worse is that I read it !! K M : Don't be so limited in your thoughts and expand a little, LOVE does not have to be kissing, man, woman and the lot, it has a wider divine meaning.READ

american american

5/27/2013 5:16:32 PM

oh mystique, you are so right! israel should open the 'opening of jerusalem to all' theme park. america can have the 'civilizing of the savages' ride at disney and in holland you have 'the clove trade: modernizing indonesia'...these will all be for educational purposes and youth oriented of course. because nothing says i love you, like glorifying your history.

Cem Ian Hanley

5/27/2013 4:52:56 PM

Thank goodness it has a shopping centre. Just what Istanbul needs is that: another shopping centre. We are having another shopping centre inIizmir, and guess where it is going, right in the middle of two already existing shopping centres. The idea of having a public sports facility though with a couple of decent swimming pools for public use is way beyond any one's imagination.

Richard Wyatt

5/27/2013 3:14:45 PM

mystique, what hate? You sound like one of those sensitive Turks who can't stand criticism. How sad.

mistique holland

5/27/2013 2:09:27 PM

My my what a jealousy. You all sound like the CHP, that party that can only shout and hate....The AK Party nor Erdogan can do any good with people, why bother reacting when you feel like that. Don't read it and go on with your life...All that hate...disgusting.
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