The Turkish capital of Istanbul is putting the finishing touches to the year-long programme of events and actiivities that will put the city in the world´s cultural spotlight next year. As European Capital of Culture 2010, the city is preparing an impressive schedule that looks set to impress everybody from fully-fledged culture vultures to curious bystanders.
The city looks set to see increased numbers of tourists head here in 2010, keen to discover just what special ingredients in the cultural mixing pot led to the honour of being named European Capital of Culture by the European Union. A varied programme of events combining music, theatre, dance, art, film and folk traditions is planned for the city, with dedicated children´s events aimed at encouraging even the youngest of travelers in Istanbul to take place in the cultural fun.

Visitors to Istanbul in 2010 will be among the first to see the much-publicised new statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish Republic who died in 1938 and remains a national hero. Acclaimed Turkish sculptor Rahmi Aksunger began work on the sculpture in June 2009 and the finished work will be a bronze sculpture of around three-and-a-half metres in height.

The city´s art galleries will host numerous special events throughout the year, aimed at introducing a whole new audience to the Istanbul art scene and children haven´t been left out of the picture. The Contemporary Art for Children Exhibition will travel to various locations throughout Istanbul throught the year and is aimed at highlighting differences in the way adults and children perceive places and objects. As well as celebrated Turkish artists, local children have contributed works to the exhibition and young visitoris are encouraged to unleash their own creative side.

Turkish music has its own distinctive style and sounds and the city will host many music-themed events during its year as European Capital of Culture. From the unforgettable sounds of the lute and cymbals to the soft sounds of Turkish classical music, visitors to Istanbul in 2010 can expect to hear all music of all styles and sounds at specially commissioned events throughout the year. The city´s many concert halls, together with many public spaces, will be alive with the sound of Turkish music throughout 2010, as the world´s ears tune in to some surprising new styles and instruments.

Theater-goers will not be disappointed by events in Istanbul in 2010 either Among the key projects commissioned for the year as European Capital of Culture is the Turkish Universities Theater Festival, which will unite drama students from across the city in a varied programme of live drama performances, to take place not only in the theatres of Istanbul but also in the city´s parks and gardens. WIth a varied schedule of shows designed to cross age divides, there´s something for very age group lined up.

Visitors to Istanbul in 2010 can also expect to see colourful parades, dancing, traditional folk rituals and a whole host more – all reflecting the special nature of the city that has more than earned its place in the cultural spotlight.