Istanbul Center in Brussels, which will be a communication and culture platform for the EU membership of Turkey and Istanbul, was opened on the 8th of April 2008 in Brussels with the pioneering of Istanbul Greater Municipality.
The inauguration was realized by Mr. Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul Greater Municipality, Mr. Egemen Bagis, AK Party Vice Chairman in charge of Foreign Affairs and MP representing Istanbul, Mr. Yasar Yakis, Ex-Foreign Minister and Chairman of Turkey- EU Harmonisation Comission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Mr. Olli Rehn, EU Comission member in charge of enargement, Mrs. Tulu Gumustekin, Chairman of the board of directors of Istanbul Center in Brussels. Diverse invitees like members of Turkish press agencies, high level authorities from EU Institutions, Member state representatives that are settled in Brussels and European press agencies attended the opening ceremony.
Istanbul Center-Brussels will be a center for Istanbul which is preparing to become 2010 European Culture Capital with an intensive effort, and for the people of Istanbul where they share their common future ideals with the people who are in Europe. Istanbul Center in Brussels is designed to be a communications and cultural platform for the city's communications with EU organizations and corporations, and to foster dialogue with the public sector in Europe. Within the scope of artistic and intellectual activities it will ensure a continuous mutual influence between the public sectors of Istanbul, Turkey and the EU, and will be an important source of support and a loud voice as the membership process speeds up. Activities at the Istanbul Center will be based on three themes, "Art," "Knowledge" and "Thought," which will be taken into consideration when drawing up the annual program.
ISTANBUL CENTER BRUSSELS IS THE SIGN OF TURKEY'S DETERMINATION OF WESTERNIZATION AND MODERNIZATION
Mr. Egemen Bagis, AK Party Vice Chairman in charge of Foreign Affairs and MP representing Istanbul, who is one of the founders of the center said "as an MP of Istanbul I am very excited today. Today, as we are opening this center, I feel again the same happiness I felt as we founded Istanbul Modern, SantralIstanbul and as Istanbul was elected as one of the City of European Culture Capital of 2010. Mr. Bagis also mentioned the contributions of this center for the EU membership of Turkey and said "This center is a sign of Turkey's modernization and westernization. Today, because of the events Turkey is passing through we can clearly see who is for EU and who is against EU; who is for democracy and who is against democracy. I would like to congratulate everybody who has put any effort for this center."