Istanbul’s major renovation project Galataport will be operational as of April, said the Turkish president on Friday.
“Galataport is a worldwide project with the potential of drawing 25 million visitors, 7 million tourists, and 1.5 million cruise passengers,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the inauguration of a historical movie theater and cinema museum.
As part of the Galataport project, new shopping malls, hotels, and a new Istanbul Modern building are planned to be built. The port is also planned to be renovated as part of the project.
Despite the virus conditions, 200 cruise ships carrying 350,000 passengers have made reservations to anchor at Galataport this year, Erdogan said.
“I already believe that this interest will rise fivefold next year,” he added.
Erdogan also said that holiday reservations for Turkey are booming, even amid the novel coronavirus.
“From every place that is lifting or easing travel restrictions, reservations for our country are booming,” he added.
Erdogan also highlighted the number of tourists visiting the country, which reached 52 million.
Following a restoration project, the historical movie theater cinema museum opened its doors to visitors.
The historic Atlas Cinema and the Istanbul Cinema Museum in Istanbul’s teeming Beyoglu district are parts of Turkey’s Beyoglu Culture Road project, which covers an area from Galataport to Taksim Square linking cultural venues in the district, including Ataturk Cultural Center and the Galata Tower.
The president also said that the opening of Istanbul’s iconic Ataturk Cultural Center, previously set for the end of this year, will be pushed back to mid-2022 due to COVID-19.
Erdogan also said that Taksim Mosque in Istanbul will open during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan next year, adding that it will also operate as a culture and arts center with its library and traditional arts workshops plus exhibits.