Istanbul’s iconic tower reopens after restoration

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Istanbul’s iconic Galata Tower has been reopened following a three-month restoration process, which occasionally has been subject to controversy in public due to the renovation methods used.

After a ceremony with the participation of Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the 672-year-old tower was once again opened to the public.

The works have ended recently in the tower, which was handed over to the General Directorate of Foundations while it was being operated by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

From now on, the terrace of the tower will be reached by elevator but while coming down, stairs will be used instead so that one can see all the floors of the tower.

The restaurant and cafe inside the tower have been removed.

A rising name of the Turkish pop music industry, Zeynep Bastık, took the stage and gave a concert on social media within the scope of the reopening ceremony.

In May, the ministry took over the authority to operate the Galata Tower from the municipality.

On Aug. 13, however, a video recorded on a mobile phone of restoration workers drilling down the stone wall of the tower created a political firestorm.

In the video, two restoration workers were seen drilling a corner of the inner wall of the tower with jackhammers.

Opposition leaders, the mayor of Istanbul, and many social media users reacted to the footage.

Galata Tower, one of the highest and oldest towers of Istanbul, was built in the 14th century by the Genoese colony as part of the defense wall surrounding their district in Beyoğlu, directly opposite of ancient Constantinople.

Just some hundred meters below the tower, a megaproject, known as Galataport, is expected to boost the city’s tourism and increase tourism revenues.

The project is being developed in Istanbul’s Karaköy district along the 1,200-meter coastline.

Hurriyet Daily News

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