Istanbul municipality rejects theatre demolition claims

By Burcu Arik

ISTANBUL (AA) – Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has denied recent allegations that the city’s most popular amphitheater could be demolished to make way for a new structure.

The municipality released a statement Friday, saying the claims did not reflect the reality.

“To demolish Harbiye Theatre and build a new modern theatre is out of question,” the statement read. “The planned project only consists of building a new folding roof against weather conditions.”

The municipality also said that the roof project was designed to take into consideration the existing building structure.

Earlier on Friday, some Turkish media outlets had reported that Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Culture Bureau President Abdurrahman Sen said the council was working on a project, and that the theatre would be reconstructed.

However, the municipality said Sen’s words were just aimed at the roof project.

The contemporary amphitheater, which is located in the Harbiye neighborhood of Istanbul’s Sisli district on the European side, is the city’s most famous outdoor venue, hosting national and international performances during the summer.

The venue has a capacity of 4,500 and was opened on August 9, 1947.