Istanbul 2010


In 2005 Istanbul decided to claim for the title of "European Capital of Culture" for 2010. It therefore impressed the jury by an inspired presentation and easily surmounted its primary rival city, Kiev.

Istanbul's initial optimism was certainly reinforced by the positive impact of Turkey being in the process of becoming part of the EU. Although in 2001 the country was plunged into a severe economic crisis, in 2005 it had already found its way to a spectacular recovery. If it became the "Cultural Capital of Europe", Istanbul and by extension Turkey could boast that not only it was a member of the western "European club" but also a key crossroads in the region. The true objectives of "Istanbul 2010" were not just cultural or touristic. They were political, ideological and extremely ambitious.