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Istanbul, one of the three European capitals of culture for 2010
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 05 Aug 2008 Tue 03:42 pm

The Turkish city of Istanbul has beaten the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, for the third nomination as European capital of culture for 2010. The other two chosen capitals are regional centres in EU countries - Pecs, in south-eastern Hungary and Essen in Germany´s industrialised Ruhr Valley. The nominations, made by a jury of European experts, are expected to be confirmed by EU culture ministers next November. The significance of the choice is more than cultural.

There were gasps, applause and even some tears from the Turkish delegation when Sir Jeremy Isaacs, the chairman of the selection panel, made his announcement. The reason for the panel´s choice, he explained, was not only the well-known fact that Istanbul lies at a geographical cross-roads with Europe and has interacted with European civilisations for centuries.

The city´s bid, he said, was well prepared and highly effective. "Interestingly, the Istanbul application, the bid, did not begin either with the government of Turkey or with the government of the city of Istanbul, but with groups of public-spirited citizens, who took into their own hands the initiatives of leading their city towards this bid," he said.

Mavi Boncuk

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