Istanbul’s Kuleli Military High School to be transformed into museum: Minister
Neşe Karanfil – ANKARAIstanbul’s Kuleli Military High School will be transformed into a museum, Defense Minister Fikri Işık has said, adding that the historical part of the building will be given to the Culture and Tourism Ministry for transformation.
Debates on the fate of the Kuleli Military High School began after it was shut down in accordance with a decree passed under the state of emergency after the coup attempt of July 15, 2016.
Noting that the school’s plot of land is large, Işık said there were different plans for the area other than the historic building.
Işık also said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had issued the orders and that Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı was taking a personal interest in the case.
“We are doing the necessary work to smooth the process,” Işık told daily Hürriyet, adding that a part of the historic building had been renovated.
The Kuleli Barracks, also noted as the Kuleli military school in 1872, remained in the building for just two years. The barracks, which were converted into a hospital because of the wars between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in 1877-1878, continued as the Istanbul War College (Mekteb-i Harbiye) in Şişli’s Harbiye neighborhood before returning to the Kuleli site in 1913.
The building was evacuated to be used as a storage and transit warehouse by the British when Istanbul was occupied by the Entente Powers Istanbul on March 16, 1920, before being given to the Armenian community as an Armenian Orphans School. In 1923, it was converted into the Kuleli barracks again before becoming the Kuleli Military High School in 1925.
The building is also located at one of the most important points along the Bosphorus.