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Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre

Taşkışla Caddesi, Harbiye Mh., Şişli

There are two ways of getting to the Harbiye Open-Air Theatre via public transport, but both involve walking a fair distance. The first way is shorter, but rather more complicated. Take the M2 metro line to the Osmanbey station. On getting off the train, take the ‘Pangaltı’ exit (not the ‘Osmanbey’ one) from the platform. After passing through the barriers, take the ‘Pangaltı’ exit (which is on your left), not the ‘Dolapdere’ one, then walk down Halaskargazi Caddesi – which will now be straight in front of you – towards Taksim for a short way. At the first major crossroads, you will see the Harbiye Military Museum (Harbiye Askeri Müzesi) on your left. At this crossroads, turn sharp left into Valikonağı Caddesi in front of the museum. Having passed the museum compound, walk down through the park on your right – it is famous for the number of cats that inhabit it. Passing out of the park at its lower end, follow the main road that descends the hill to your right. Soon afterwards (at the end of the park area on your right), turn right into Taşkışla Caddesi, walking up the narrow path to the left of the entrance to the tunnel that the road goes through. At the end of this path you will see the curved wall of the Harbiye Open-Air Theatre in front of you. Follow this wall until you reach the entrance.

The second way of getting to it is from the Taksim metro station on the M2 line. (This is the longer route.) After passing through the barriers, turn left towards the ‘Talimhane / Geziparkı’ exit (not right towards the Taksim Meydanı – ‘Taksim Square’ – one). The ‘Gezi Park’ exit will bring you out at one corner of the park. Cumhuriyet Caddesi, the road that is now directly in front of you, leads north from Taksim Square towards Harbiye and Şişli. Turn right along this road. After a few metres, cross the road (with extreme care) that leads off to the right in front of the Divan Hotel, and continue along Cumhuriyet Caddesi. You will eventually pass the entrance to the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel (on your right), then the large, stone-built ‘İstanbul Radyosu’ building (1945), also on your right. Immediately after this building, turn right into Dar’ül Bedayi Caddesi.

The Harbiye Orduevi skyscraper (a social facility for army officers) will now be to your left, and the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel straight in front of you. Passing the Orduevi compound, you will see the Istanbul Congress Centre (İstanbul Kongre Merkezi) set back from the road on your left. Just beyond this building, a long, wide and dead-straight walkway leads off to the left. (In fact, it leads to the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and beyond it the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall.) Standing at the entrance to this walkway and looking along it, you will see on your right another empty area, and a cabin on the near side of it. To your right, beyond this cabin, is a narrow staircase leading downwards, separated from the empty area by a glass wall. Go down this staircase, and the one following it, eventually reaching the road at the bottom. Here, turn left, following the curved wall of the Harbiye Open-Air Theatre, until you reach the entrance.

If the staircase is closed off for any reason, go along the long, wide, straight walkway, passing first the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre, then the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall (both on your right). The walkway, which by now has become a road – Dar’ül Bedayi Caddesi – then turns a corner to the right, and you will pass a fire station (Beyoğlu İtfaiye İstasyonu). At the end of Dar’ül Bedayi Caddesi, turn right along the main road that leads down the hill. Soon afterwards (at the end of the park area on your right), turn right into Taşkışla Caddesi, walking up the narrow path to the left of the entrance to the tunnel that the road goes through. At the end of this path you will see the curved wall of the Harbiye Open-Air Theatre in front of you. Follow this wall until you reach the entrance.


The Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre (Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Açıkhava Tiyatrosu) is one of the city’s most popular venues for summer events. Formerly known as the Harbiye Open-Air Theatre (Harbiye Açıkhava Tiyatrosu), it is situated on the slopes leading down from Harbiye towards the İnönü Stadium and the Bosphorus. (This stadium, sometimes referred to as the ‘Dolmabahçe Stadium’ or ‘Beşiktaş Stadium’, was recently renamed the ‘Tüpraş Stadium’). To be exact, the Harbiye Open-Air Theatre is located directly below the Istanbul Congress Centre (which is next to the Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre), and beside and below the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel. Managed by the Greater Istanbul Municipality, it is named after Cemil Topuzlu (1866-1958), who was Mayor of Istanbul from 1912 to 1914 and from 1919 to 1920.

The theatre’s construction, foreseen in the plan for Istanbul drawn up by the French urban planner Henri Prost in the 1930s, actually took place in 1946-47; modifications to the stage area were subsequently carried out by Carl Ebert, a German stage director who was then Head of the Ankara State Conservatory. The tiered amphitheatre has a seating capacity of 3972 (according to some sources, 4532).

General info (in Turkish only):

Events info (in Turkish only):

https://www.passo.com.tr/en/venue/harbiye-cemil-topuzlu-acikhava-tiyatrosu-biletleri/49215

Wikipedia

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