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Taksim Square and Gumussuyu

Taksim Square and Gumussuyu
Taksim Square can be likened to London’s Trafalgar Square only instead of Nelson’s Column it has the Turkish War of Independence Monument which commemorates the establishment of the Turkish Republic. It was erected in 1928 and designed by Pietro Canonica, an Italian sculptor, and the plinth was designed by another Italian, Giulio Mongeri. 

From that time on the square has been used for gatherings and demonstrations although protest meetings are rarely allowed, and on New Year’s Eve hoards of people gather together to celebrate.
Much of the square is a very busy traffic intersection with Taksim Gezi Park and the main bus terminal is on its north side opposite the huge Marmara Hotel.

Ataturk Cultural Center

The controversial Ataturk Cultural Centre is on the east side facing the monument, this was designed by Hayatı Tabanlıoğlu, and people either love it or hate it and demands have been made to demolish it and build something of beauty in its place. The building opened in 1969 but burnt down almost immediately and was rebuilt and reopened in 1978; presently no concerts take place there whilst its future is being decided.  

Taksim Gezi Park

Taksim Gezi Park sits on the site of an old cemetery and is a lovely place to get away from the hurly burly of the city during the day although best not visited after dark. A handicrafts fair is held on the terrace here every August where you can buy items usually only available in remote parts of the country and the terrace also has evening entertainment during the month of Ramazan, the Islamic fasting festival.

Siraselviler, Istiklal and Gumussuyu Roads

There are some significant streets here that join Taksim and include Siraselviler Road or Caddesi, which is the main street of Cihangir , the traffic free Istiklal Road or Caddesi and Gumussuyu Road or Caddesi, and it also gives access to Talimhane Tarlabasi and Elmadag .

Getting to Taksim Square

To get to Taksim Square ; use the tramway to Kabatas , change there for the funicular railway that runs to the square, or from the Grand Bazaar take Bus No. 61B.

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