İstanbul İl Kültür ve Turizm Müdürlüğü


Istanbul is the paradise of Art, Theatre, Cultural Activity, Art, Concert, Workshop, Stage, and Show Centres. On the other hand, regarding the density of population, traffic and work flows, all visitors shall inspect the whole picture to evaluate their time in optimum conditions. In this respect, visitors are advise to take a look at the below short briefing about some of the above well-known theatre, stage, show and art centres.

Bahçeşehir Muhsin Ertuğrul Theatre

Bahçeşehir Muhsin Ertuğrul Theatre (Turkish: Bahçeşehir Muhsin Ertuğrul Tiyatrosu) is a theatre venue located in Bahçeşehir quarter of Başakşehir district in Istanbul, Turkey. It is owned and operated by Başakşehir Municipality. The theatre is named in honor of the Turkish stage actor and director Muhsin Ertuğrul (1892–1979).

The theatre is situated in 2. Kısım neighbourhood of Bahçeşehir, a satellite town of Istanbul. The theatre is built on an area of 1,920 m2 (20,700 sq ft). The theatre's audience hall occupies 216 m2 (2,330 sq ft), and has a total seating capacity of 318, including 70 seats in a second level gallery that serves the theatre balcony.

The 145 m2 (1,560 sq ft) large stage has a clearance of 14 m (46 ft). The stage is named after Haldun Dormen (born 1928), a Turkish actor and film director, who contributed much to the establishment of this theatre


The Darülbedayi was an Ottoman imperial theatre established in Istanbul in 1914. Its history was closely linked to that of its director, the actor Muhsin Ertuğrul

Gedikpaşa Tiyatrosu

The Gedikpaşa Tiyatrosu was an Ottoman theatre established in Istanbul in 1866. It was the first theatre in the Ottoman Turkey where plays were performed by Turkish actors, whereas previous theatres in the Ottoman Empire had only employed Western travelling theatre troupes or non-Muslim Ottoman people such as Armenians.

Emek (Movie Theater)

The movie theatre began construction in 1884 under the name of "Club des Chasseurs de Constantinople" (Hunters Club of Constantinople), and first opened its doors in 1924 under the name of Melek Sineması (Angel Cinema) because of the Art Nouveau style angel figures on the screen. The inner walls and the top of the movie theatre have the baroque and rococo style figures. The building has since been known under different names such as The Greek Gym of Strangali in 1909, then as “Nouveau Cirque” (New Circus), in 1918 the building was known as "Yeni Tiyatro" (New Theatre), and "Emek Cinema" in the 1940s. Latterly the building had been used as a sFlooring palace.

Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage

Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage (Turkish: Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage) is a theatre venue located in Harbiye neighbourhood of Şişli district in Istanbul, Turkey. It is owned by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and operated by its City Theatres (Şehir Tiyatroları) division. The theatre is named in honor of the Turkish stage actor and director Muhsin Ertuğrul (1892-1979).

The Muhsin Ertuğrul theatre was initially opened in 1964. The old building at the same location was partly demolished to make place for a bigger and modern one. Ground breaking took place on February 14, 2008. The construction cost 17 million, and the theatre was reopened on January 14, 2010. It is adjacent to Istanbul Congress Center, a multi-level complex, which was built to host the 2009 IMF and World Bank Group Annual Meeting.

The old theatre had lowered its stage curtain after a performance of Keşanlı Ali Destanı (Keşanlı Ali’s Epic), a musical play by the renowned Turkish playwright Haldun Taner (1915-1986). It was also the same musical play that was staged on the reopening of the new theatre venue.

Istanbul City Theatres

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Theatre (Turkish: Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi Şehir Tiyatroları; Ottoman Turkish: Darülbedayi) The theater was founded in 1934 in the Ottoman Empire period (1914) as Dârülbedayi. It was a theatre company connected to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality budget in the name of IMM City Theatres in 1934.

There are twelve stages, Harbiye Muhsin Ertugrul Stage, Kadıköy Haldun Taner Stage, Fatih Reşat Nuri Stage, Gaziosmanpaşa Stage, Gaziosmanpaşa Ferih Egemen Children Theater Stage, Üsküdar Müsahipzade Celal Stage, Üsküdar Kerem Yılmazer Stage, Kağıthane Sadabad Stage, Kağıthane Küçük Kemal Children theatre Stage and Ümraniye Stage, Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Stage, Sultangazi Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Stage.

The City theatre has an important place in the cultural life of Istanbul with the classical plays exhibited and the theatre artists. In addition, with the stages has and the events and festivals it organizes are also an important mission. Examples of these activities include free panels where writers, poets and theatre actors answer questions, and festivals such as the "International Istanbul Venue Theatre Festival".

Kadıköy Haldun Taner Stage

Kadıköy Haldun Taner Stage (Turkish: Kadıköy Haldun Taner Stage) is a theatre venue located in Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is owned by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and operated by its City Theatres (Şehir Tiyatroları) division. The theatre is named in honor of the Turkish playwright Haldun Taner (1915-1986).

Situated on the landing square (İskele Meydanı), the building, which hosts the theatre today, was constructed as the first modern market hall in Istanbul between 1925 and 1927. However, it stood vacant for a period of ten years since the traders in the agricultural marketing business did not want to be tenant. In order to utilize the vacant building, some parts of it were used by the fire department, and some parts served as depot for scrap vehicles. Its purposeful usage began in the 1940s, lasting until the mid-1970s.

After its complete renovation in 1984, the building was assigned to Istanbul University for use as conservatory in 1986. Finally, the ground floor of the building was transformed into a theatre venue in 1989. Kadıköy Haldun Taner Stage has a seating capacity of 286.

Kenter Theatre

Kenter Theatre (Turkish: Kenter Tiyatrosu) is a theatre located in Istanbul, Turkey established by Kenter siblings in 1968.

Kenter Theatre is situated on the Halaskargazi Avenue in Harbiye quarter of Şişli district in Istanbul, Turkey. It was established by the siblings, actress Yıldız Kenter and actor Müşfik Kenter, in 1968. It was renovated several times in the past, did not, however, change its original outlook. The theatre has a seating capacity of 303.

Naum Theatre

The Naum Theatre, named after its owners Michel Naum and Joseph Naum of Syrian Catholic background, was a theatre and opera house on İstiklal Avenue in the Beyoğlu (formerly Pera) district of Istanbul, Turkey. It was opened in 1844 and remained active until the theatre building was severely damaged by the Fire of Pera in 1870. The ruined theatre building was purchased by Ottoman Greek banker Hristaki Zoğrafos Efendi, who built the present-day Çiçek Arcade on its land plot in 1876.

Ora Arena

The Ora Arena is the first purpose-built live entertainment venue in Turkey with a full standing capacity of up to 6,300 including ten VIP boxes for twelve guests each. The indoor arena, located in Bayrampaşa, Istanbul, is the prominent part of the Ora Complex, the first mixed-use project in the country. The cost of the investment amounted to €25M.

Sabancı Performing Arts Center

Sabancı Performing Arts Center (Turkish: Sabancı Üniversitesi Gösteri Merkezi) is the performing arts center and conference hall of Sabancı University in Tuzla district of Istanbul, Turkey.

The late Sakıp Sabancı, Honorary Chairman of the Trustees of Sabancı University, had announced the opening of the Sabancı University Performing Arts Center, of which the official inauguration took place on Sunday, 6 June 2005, with a personally written letter of invitation, three days before he died. The Center began offering its performance series in April 2005.

Sabancı University Performing Arts Center aims to contribute to the rich cultural life of Istanbul, particularly to the city's Anatolian coast, and provide cultural and artistic services to the University's students and staff, as well as to all art appreciators in the region.
The Centre’s goal is to organize activities through which art appreciators of all ages and from all walks of life can interact with the arts, as well as to become a prestigious performing arts center renowned for the quality of its performing national and international artists and groups. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 912.

Süreyya Opera House

Sureyya Opera House, also called Sureyya Cultural Center (Turkish: Sureyya Operası or Sureyya Kültür Merkezi), is an opera hall located in Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey. The building is designed by Ottoman Armenian architect Kegam Kavafyan by order of a Deputy for Istanbul Süreyya İlmen, it was originally established in 1927 as the first musical theatre on the Anatolian part of Istanbul. However, due to lack of appropriate facilities and equipment in the theatre, operettas were never staged. The venue was rather used as a movie theatre until the building underwent a functional restoration and reopened as an opera house by the end of 2007.

Zorlu Center

Zorlu Center is a multiple-use complex in the Beşiktaş district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

Built in 2013 to a design by Emre Arolat Architects and Tabanlıoğlu Architects, the center is situated at the junction of the European connection of the Bosphorus Bridge and Büyükdere Avenue, which runs through the central business districts of Levent and Maslak. It is home to Zorlu Center PSM, the largest performing arts center in the country, as well as the country's first Apple Store. The complex contains an upscale shopping center, a five-star hotel and a Cinemaximum megaplex, as well as residences and offices.

Zorlu PSM

Zorlu PSM despite its young history has quickly become a valuable platform where different branches of art come together to meet Istanbul's request for arts and culture. Hosting magnificent shows, world-renowned musicals, artists and bands, PSM is a "stage" that played and continues to play an important role in turning the city into a center of attraction. It aims to become one of the most prestigious art centres not only in Europe, but also shortly in the world.

Focusing on the universality, diversity and richness of arts since its launch in October 2013, PSM hosted more than 2 million of art lovers in 5,000 events in 5 years. Aiming to complete the current season with 1,100 events and 10% increase in the number of the audience compared to last year, PSM presents an average of 2.7 events daily. Creating an environment that generates approximately 15% of the arts, culture and entertainment industry in Turkey; PSM also offers an always-lively socializing platform to its art loving guests.

Second Floor Karaköy

Ikinci Floor (second floor) which was founded at Olivia Han in Galatasaray in 2010 continues its life on a new stage in Karaköy. İkinci Floor which is a theatre by independent theatregoers with respect to its projects that bring a fresh breath to the younger generation theatre and performances and it’s also host to a variety of theatre performance artists and social responsibility projects. Converted from an old three storey workshop, stage Balck Box has a seating capacity between 120 and 150.

Ortaköy Afife Jale Theatre

Restored by the Municipality of Beşiktaş, Ortaköy Afife Jale Stage which was opened its doors for theatre lovers again in 2008 is located in Ortaköy. The theatre which is named after Turkey’s first female artist Afife Jale hall comes with a seating capacity of 220 people. The Afife Jale Stage is also host to shows and concerts.

Ses Theatre

With its velvet chairs, invalid ceilings and stylish theatre boxes, unlike any other Theatre stage the Ses Theatre Stage was built by architect Campanaki in 1885. The 128 year old Theatre building has served as a theatre stage for a long time and as a movie theatre for another short period. Ses Theatre stage was converted back into theatre in 1989 by Frerhan Sensoy and besides the plays of Ortaoyuncular Tiyatrosu; the theatre is also used as a stage for occasional activities such as concerts. Being one of the world’s eight specimens by representing the Hunkar locası (sultan’s theatre box) the Ses Theatre stage is spectacular structure.

State Theatres Uskudar Tekel Stage

State Theatre Uskudar Tekel Stage which was substituted on the old Tekel depot holds its exceptional feature by possessing one of the best stageries among theatres in Istanbul. It is easy to transport to the Tekel Stage which also grabs attention with its historical background. The stage which is within walking distance of the Uskudar Pier harbours two walls.

Moda Stage

Established in 1969 in Kadıköy under the name of Kafkas Sineması (Caucasus Cinema), Moda Stage has carried on as Moda Cinema and made it to this day following the construction in 2013 as today’s Moda Stage. The Moda Stage which consists of three auditoriums which vary in size and function is host to various workshops, conferences and independent films with a film theatre that has a seating capacity of 54 people. Alongside great plays, there are also workshops for children’s plays carried out for minor theatregoers.


Lcated in Santral Istanbul which is built on the area in Silahtar where Kagıthane and Alibeykoy rivers intersect on Halic, Krek has performed its plays in various venues in Istanbul between the years of 2000 and 2010. They have been able to establish their own stage in 2010 following the makeover of Galeri 1 which is an ahistorical depot which is located in Santral Istanbul. The Krek stage which presents their plays to the audience with a unique stage design that exceeds the ordinary sight and audibility, hosts special activities such as concerts, workshops and exhibitions.

Beşiktaş Cultural Center

Beşiktaş Cultural Center which has been serving cultural activities since 1994 has been host to several plays, including solo plays. The BKM theatre which draws attention with plays that bring an innovative point of view to the theatre also presents various children’s plays each year in auditorium with a seating capacity of 700.

Ali Pasha Hostelry

Ali Pasha Hostelry which is a family heirloom which resides in Eminönü is not quite your ordinary theatre stage. The public house which was built during the 18th. Century has been converted into a theatre by the stage actor Genco Erkal. The public house which is functionalized in accordance with its original use, yet still is up to date, in compliance with modern city life, hosts play of the company named Dostlar Theatre. The two story Ali Pasha Han is a must see attraction which resides on an oblique peristyle framed by drop arches located in Eminönü.

Sureyya Opera House

The Sureyya House being one of the most beautiful structures of Kadıkoy which was designed and built by Sureyya İlmen Pasha as an opera house, has once more started functioning as an opera house in 2007 long years after being used as a movie theatre.

The foyer of Sureyya House which dates from 1924 appears similar to the Champs Elysee Theatre and its interior has been modelled on German theatre buildings. Recognized as one of Kadıkoy’s most exceptional structures, the Sureyya Opera House after being used as a movie theatre between the years of 1927 and 1950 was donated to the Darussafaka Union on condition that it would be used only for Cultural Services. The poorly maintained building has been conserved and has gone under refurbishment to once again be brought into service as an opera house as recently as 2007. From couches to its carpets, chandeliers to the lighting the entirely redesigned opera hall is one of the most worthwhile buildings.

Istanbul Beşiktaş Fulya Art

Istanbul Beşiktaş Fulya Art which was built for the purpose of being one of the art and culture venues is the host to concerts and performances of Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and Istanbul State Opera and Ballet.

Opened in 2010, Istanbul Beşiktaş Fulya Sanat’s auditorium, with a seating capacity of 630, presents the infrastructure enough to host an orchestra consisting of 100 musicians. The auditorium which was designed in consideration of any kind of concert holds every sort of sound and lighting system which could be required in stock.