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Weather forecasts reported heavy snowfall and blizzards taking over the whole of Turkey starting from Wednesday. Just as the people living in western and central Anatolia heaved a sigh of relief following the snowstorms that took over cities, especially Istanbul, in previous weeks, the state-run General Directorate of Meteorology has announced that a new wave of snowfall is coming and will stay for four days.

The experts especially raised the red flag for Istanbul and the capital city of Ankara. According to the weather forecasts, Istanbul will receive rain mixed with snow while the people of Ankara will wake up to a white day on Wednesday. On Thursday, rainfall will turn into snowfall. It is reported that most parts of Anatolia will be under heavy snowfall on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The experts predict that the snowfall in Istanbul will last until Sunday while ending in Ankara on Saturday. Earlier this month, experts announced that Istanbul had seen its heaviest snowfall and coldest temperatures since 2009.

Major renovation efforts worth around 10 million Turkish Liras at Istanbul’s historic Topkapı Palace have started, after deep crevices were found in the treasury room of the Ottoman-era palace in July.

The discovery of the crevices prompted the partial closure of the Ottoman-era palace to tourists.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry had noted that serious cracks on the basement floor and static deformations in the treasury walls went “beyond the crack area and reached the discrete and slit levels.” The ministry risk analysis came after parts of a wall in the nearby Gülhane Park collapsed in April, killing two people and injuring five others.

Measurements were made at the foundation of the building and on its walls to determine the cause of the cracks. Efforts for the static strengthening measurements started last week.

The work comes after palace authorities asked for a detailed examination from the Istanbul 4th Protection Committee, which found that the issue stemmed from ground-based problems.

The expert report said the concrete cover used for the mansion’s dome and ceilings between 1940 and 1960 had put excessive weight on the building, which had reached the point of collapse along with seismic activities that periodically occur in the Marmara Sea.

Authorities say that in its current situation, the building would not survive a 5.0-magnitude earthquake and that a rapid intervention is necessary.

It has also been found that the archive and depot sections suffered from similar problems to the treasury, so the renovation team decided to open drilling and inspection holes in order to carry out soil investigation efforts. Officials will determine how to strengthen the ground after investigating why the ground deformations occurred.

The evaluation of instrumental observations and static results in order to strengthen the ground will cover a six month period.

In line with the renovation process, vibrations in the ground via drilling and inspection holes will be recorded at a total of 26 different points. The renovation work is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Atatürk Kültür Merkezi

Avcı said the rumors that the AKM, a contested arts and culture venue located at the heart of Istanbul’s Taksim Square, would be turned into a shopping mall are “not true.”

“There are rumors that the AKM will become a shopping mall. That’s not true. A new opera house will be built there,” he told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 18, adding that efforts to develop the project have started.

“It is evident in the Istanbul Technical University report [on the building’s structure] that no good will come from it. Even if there was no report, one could see it with the naked eye. The president has already announced it. There should be an opera house that suits Istanbul. We’ve started efforts on that,” Avcı said.

Located in Taksim Square, the AKM has sat unused for the past eight years. The center, which is one of the focal buildings representing republican-era Turkish architecture, has been at the heart of a heated debate since government officials announced intentions to demolish or renew it.

Avcı said there was a “legal stalemate” concerning the building, adding that it was in a “seriously dangerous condition.”

He also complained that it was “not understandable” to perceive the building as symbolic.

“Is the architecture of it an authentic structure? No. It might be understandable due to the events that have taken place there. From time to time there are protests in front of the building, demanding that it be protected. But that is not enough to make such a building a historic symbol,” Avcı added.

euroleague-final-four-basketball-final-sinan-erdem-arena-in-istanbulThe 2017 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four 2017 will be held in Istanbul in May, the organization announced on Friday.

The venue which will be used for the event remains uncertain, however. Both Sinan Erdem Dome and Ülker Sports Arena are in the frame to host the event. Further details about the event are expected to be revealed by Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu on September 27.

Istanbul had been the host city two times before in 1992 and 2012, when Sinan Erdem Dome was used as host venue.

Galatasaray Odeabank, Fenerbahçe, Anadolu Efes and Darüşşafaka are the four Turkish teams currently competing in the tournament.

vodafone-arena-stadium-in-i%cc%87stanbulIstanbul football fans will now be able to attend away games in derby matches, after a five year break, following the Istanbul Sport Security Committee’s latest decision.

The first derby match to be attended by both sets of fans will be played next Saturday between Galatasaray FC and Beşiktaş in Beşiktaş’s newly built stadium, named the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul.

The ban had been imposed five year ago due to increasing violence between football fans. Thousands of police had to be sent in and around stadiums on derby match days. The Governor enforced a ban on away fans attending derby matches as a means to end the violence.

Debates about lifting the ban had started after the July 15 coup attempt. Authorities argue that lifting the ban is necessary to increase unity after the deadly attempt.

Atatürk AirportIstanbul Atatürk International Airport broke its own air traffic record with 1,500 landings and takeoffs on Sunday, Turkey’s airports management agency said yesterday.

Sunday’s air traffic record at Atatürk Airport was the second in the same month following a previous record on Sept. 9 when 1,478 planes landed and took off in 24 hours. On Sunday, 749 planes landed and 751 others took off from Atatürk Airport, which is the 11th largest airport worldwide, providing services to 61.8 million passengers last year, according to the Airports Council International (ACI). It was also listed as the third busiest airport in Europe by ACI in 2015.

The record figures come nearly three months after a terror attack on June 28 at Ataturk Airport, killing at least 36 people and injuring nearly 150 others.

“Despite the terror attack in [June] and July 15 coup attempt, the great success [new record] demonstrates the continued rise in Turkish civil aviation,” said the head of the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI), Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, in a statement. “The new record also pointed out the need for a new airport in Istanbul,” Yıldırım added.

Turkey is building Istanbul’s third airport, which will open in February 2018, according to the Turkish Transport Ministry. The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won a tender to build the third airport in Istanbul in 2013, pledging to pay the government 22.1 billion euros ($24.68 billion) for 25 years starting from 2017. With a more than 150 million passenger capacity annually, the airport is expected to become one of the biggest in the world and the biggest air transfer hub in Europe.

The airport will also act as a focal point for Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines, which is one of the fastest growing airline companies in the world, flying currently to more than 270 international destinations.

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