Turkish PM reveals government’s cultural development program
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has revealed the government’s program on sustainable cultural development, which includes a series of plans extending from the Atatürk Culture Center in Istanbul’s Taksim Square to making Ankara a capital with Turkey’s best cultural venues.
Davutoğlu shared his government’s plans and approach to the development of culture in Turkey at the 64th Government Sustainable Cultural Development Program Introductory Meeting in Ankara on April 21.
“It should be an aim for all of us to beautify Istanbul’s squares and preserve the buildings in those areas, including the Atatürk Cultural Center. We should make the assessment of this by handling it all together, with our people of culture and all friends who know the history of Istanbul and who love Istanbul, without laying it on an ideological ground,” said Davutoğlu.
Regarding the plans for the cultural development of the capital, Davutoğlu said the needs of Istanbul and Ankara were different and noted they had carried out separate meetings with Ankara’s deputies, mayor and governor regarding the issue. He also highlighted that Ankara’s cultural infrastructure was not rich, adding that with the Ankara Cultural Center project, besides building a well-equipped center, they also aimed to enrich the museums through which foreigners could have an opportunity to learn about Turkey and which would represent the Anatolian culture the best.
Davutoğlu also underlined that Ankara would be the most important leg of the Cultural Action Plan, saying they gave great importance to Turkey’s largest libraries, best theater salons and other cultural venues being in Ankara.
The prime minister described Istanbul as “humanity’s biggest heritage,” saying what made it different from other cities was the fact it was an “archaic city” which was “living modernity in an intense way” and that it was “a global city which will be among the fastest rising cities in the next century,” adding these aspects of the metropolis should be preserved.
Davutoğlu also assured that Istanbul’s historical component would not be damaged and that they were “determined to make any legal regulations to make sure that horizontal architecture would be prevalent in the city and that vertical architecture would be prevented around the historical peninsula.”
Upon questions on the future of the Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, Davutoğlu said, “Considering the political incidents that took place in the square, it should not be approached as a square where ideological conflicts and political cleavages are reflected.”
Davutoğlu added that building a cultural center there should be discussed “without having any censors or any prejudices in our minds.”