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Our project named “The Great Master Sinan the Architect as a New Tourism Route” has been funded by the Istanbul Development Agency as part of the 2014 “Istanbul: A Global Tourism Center” financial support program and launched within the coordination of Turkish Touring and Automobile Association as of 01 July 2014.

The main purpose of the project is to contribute to the strengthening of a positive perception towards Istanbul and Sinan the Architect and thereby creating a new “cultural tourism item” for Istanbul. The “Great Master Sinan the Architect as a New Tourism Route” project aims to increase the “tourism variety across the region and promote tourism throughout the year” in line with the general aim of “improving Turkish tourism sector and making Istanbul a center of attraction that is capable of competing with other global cultural tourism centers” as set out by the “Istanbul: A Global Tourism Center” Financial Support Program that was published as part of the Istanbul Regional Plan for 2014-2023 with the vision of “Unique Istanbul, the City of Innovation and Culture, with its Creative and Free People” which ultimately aims to promote the recognition of Sinan the Architect and his works on a global scale.

While the target group of our project -which was launched under the financial support of Istanbul Development Agency and within the coordination of Turkish Touring and Automobile Association and in association with Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, Association of Turkish Travel Agencies and Istanbul Chamber of Tourist Guides- are global architecture enthusiasts and tourist guides, the final beneficiaries of it are the tourism sector in Istanbul and the people living in the city.

Occupying a very important place in terms of architecture, urban planning, and art history, both Sinan the Architect and his works are little known to the general public apart from certain academic circles. While his works are protected and visited as magnificent cultural heritage sites, it is not possible to speak of a perception of “Sinan the Architect” in the minds of the visitors that is based on scientific facts. More than half of nearly four hundred works of Sinan the Architect dotted around the Ottoman geography are located in Istanbul. This provides a unique advantage for Istanbul in promoting the recognition of Sinan the Architect and his works. By the end of the project, we believe that there will be a great curiosity and interest for the personality of Sinan and his works as well as our city all across the world.

This project strives to create a new “value” out of our values while taking Sinan the Architect as its starting point. It will contribute to the promotion of both Istanbul and the reputation of Sinan the Architect by way of generating a new tourism product by the name of “Sinan the Architect Tours”, consisting of the personality of Sinan the Architect and his works, which -despite being one of the most significant values of Istanbul- is not utilized to the fullest as a tourism product. With this 13 A New Tourism Route: Grand Master Sinan The Architect project, Istanbul will gain a new product that will strengthen its hand for the global cultural tourism competition. Primarily addressing to the architecture enthusiasts, this new cultural tourism product is designed to attract tourists of high socioeconomic status who will be contributing to the city more than other tourist groups.

This project also aims to take precedence over the locational concentration on the Historical Peninsula and certain monumental buildings (such as Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Square and Grand Bazaar) that have become significant predicaments for the tourism in Istanbul. If the aim set out herein is achieved, the length of stay of the tourists coming to Istanbul to see the works of Sinan all over the city will inevitably increase. As the tourists travel to the different parts of the city to see those works, their contribution to the national economy will significantly increase.

Within the framework of the project activities;

  • Inventory details pertaining to more than 200 architectural works of Sinan in Istanbul have been reviewed,
  • Details pertaining to the works whose renovation works have been completed and reopened to use/visitation have been renewed,
  • An academic curriculum has been prepared based on the available sources regarding the works in question,
  • Sinan the Architect Travel Routes, which are to be made available to tourism agencies following the updating and verification of the details pertaining to the works, have been put together,
  • 80 competent tourist guides jointly picked by the project team and Istanbul Chamber of Tourist Guides have undertaken theoretical and practical courses on the works of Sinan, and been given participation certificates,
  • Studies have been conducted for establishing an international network for Sinan the Architect and his contemporary architects, and an awareness has been created,
  • Promotional pilot touristic tours have been organized for groups consisting of international media members and foreign academics under the supervision of the trained tourist guides.

Our project schedule has been completed on 01 July 2015, and our activities regarding the protection of the work of Sinan, opening them for tourism and promotion of the same on an international arena are currently being conducted under the auspices of Turkish Touring and Automobile Association.