Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Harbiye, Şişli - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'45.8"N 28°59'24.5"E / 41.046056, 28.990139

 photo cemiltopuzlu115.jpg


The Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre (Turkish: Cemil Topuzlu Harbiye Açık Hava Tiyatrosu, also called simply Açık Hava Tiyatrosu) is a contemporary amphitheatre located in the Harbiye neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated across from the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center and Exhibition Hall, and behind the Istanbul Hilton Hotel on the European side of the city.

As the city's most popular summertime venue, the theatre primarily hosts music concerts in various genres of local and international performers. It also hosts cultural activities for several festivals held in Istanbul in the summer.

For a summer’s night out to remember, head to the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre, a modern take on an ancient style amphitheatre. This stunning venue with tiered seating hosts a wide variety of musical and cultural performances during the warmer months. The Cemil Topuzlu Theatre is the only open air theatre in Istanbul.

Its construction was begun in 1946 and completed in 1947. Named after Cemil Topuzlu Pasha (1866-1958), the legendary mayor of İstanbul in the era of Ottoman Second Constitutional Monarchy, it is the biggest open-air theatre in Istanbul with a 3,975 seat capacity. It holds 4,500 people in total in a style reminiscent of classical theatres. It has taken place in settlement plan prepared by urban expert M. Prost for İstanbul in 1930s. Theatre’s plan has been made by Nihad Yücel and Nahid Uysal.

Its ground has been broken in July 1946 during Lütfü Kırdar was governor and major of İstanbul. For facing, color harmony was achieved by mixing sandstone and Uzunköprü stone. Pavement was made with Uzunköprü stone. Although the opening ceremony was made on 9th day of August 1947, it had its recent form, after making changes appropriate to Carl Ebert’s stage technique, who is one of the directors from Ankara State Conservatiore. All its imperfections could have been completed in 1950.

First performance at the open air theatre was a tragedy named King Oidipus, by Sofokles, which was performed by Ankara State Theatre artisans. In 1958, name of Cemil Topuzlu has been given to the theatre, who was one of the former majors of İstabul.

At the open air theatre, seats for audiences or gradiens rose up, in the form of semicircle stairways facing to a plane stage as well as at amphitheatres. There are 30 - person capacity honor lodge, 3,975 - seated audience place, 80 - person capacity orchestra place and in the centre of gradens, a place for projection used when a movie or dia is presented. Stage is as wide as 200 or 300 walkerons can move freely on it. Entrances and gates were designed to allow a sudden evacuation.

There is parking available at the nearby Hilton Istanbul (capacity 500 vehicles), or the parking lot behind the Hilton Convention Center (capacity 150 vehicles). There is also a private parking lot under the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall.

As the most popular summer venue, the amphitheatre hosts in first place music concerts in various genres of local and international performers. It houses also cultural activities of several festivals held in the summer time in Istanbul.

In its history the theatre has hosted world famous artists such as Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Morrissey, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, Keith Jarrett, Iron Maiden, Björk, Massive Attack, Nick Cave, Tori Amos, Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Marcus Miller, Chick Corea, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry, Loreena McKennitt, Simply Red, Jane Birkin, Ornette Coleman, Stanley Clarke, Joshua Redman, Patti Smith, Suzanne Vega, Buena Vista Social Club, Deep Forest, PJ Harvey, Michael Bolton, Bryan Adams, Anathema, Jethro Tull, Pink Martini, Caetano Veloso, Herbie Hancock, Haris Alexiou, Goran Bregovic, The Blues Brothers Band, Deep Purple, Slayer, Sting and many more.


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