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Santral Istanbul
Santral Istanbul

Santral Istanbul, located at the beginning of the Golden Horn, is a recent addition to Istanbul's cultural scene. It consists of a modern art museum, an energy museum, an amphitheatre, concert halls and a public library, all situated within Bilgi University's Silahtarağa campus. Jose Manuel Barroso called it " a superb example of post-industrial urban renewal." Santral Istanbul's preliminary opening was held in July 2007 in the presence of Prime Minister Erdoğan. The official opening took place in September 2007. 

Silahtarağa Power Station supplied Istanbul with electric power from 1914 to 1983. The thermal power plant, built by a Budapest-based Austro-Hungarian Company, was the first of its kind in the Ottoman Empire. It started to supply power to the tram network and to the sultan's palace in February 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I. In March 1983 it was shut down.

The plan to convert the old power station into a university campus was the brainchild of the founder of Istanbul Bilgi University, a businessman. Bilgi, a private university, was founded in 1996. The school is renowned for its liberal atmosphere and critical professors. It was host to the first conference on the Armenian issue in 2005, as well as a Kurdish conference in 2006. It was also the first Turkish university to have a gay students' association. There are currently around 10,000 students studying at Bilgi's three campuses, including Santral.


Santral Istanbul

October 2008

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