The construction of Istanbul’s iconic Ataturk Cultural Center, a landmark step for the nation’s art and culture life, will be completed by this year’s end, the country’s culture and tourism minister said. 

“It will have one big and one small hall, [the second one] with a capacity of hosting 800 people…,” Mehmet Nuri Ersoy told Anadolu Agency.

Drawing on a street behind the cultural center including a giant opera house, Ersoy said: “It is a long street with cafes, restaurants and art galleries. We are turning this area into a center serving around the clock.

According to Ersoy, all construction works will be completed by the end of 2020.

“We will open the street by the end of this year. We will also try to finish the center too,” he added.

On Nov. 6, 2017, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the new project for the Ataturk Cultural Center, known by its Turkish initials AKM, and said it would be a “symbolic” site of Istanbul.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the cultural complex in Istanbul’s teeming Taksim Square was attended by Erdogan along with many Turkish actors, artists and musicians.

The new building will boast a world-class opera hall that seats over 2,000 people, a theatre hall that seats over 800, backstage rooms, and fair areas.

The center will also feature meeting rooms, administrative offices and restaurants.

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