Dynamic and young, with a promising future, Turkey is the natural bridge between East and West. Founded in 1923 the Turkish Republic is confidently progressing towards being the leader of emerging economies with its 75 million young and industrious brains, numerous universities, vast natural resources, mild and inviting climate and geography for the fast growing tourism industry.
THE CITY OF ISTANBUL
Perhaps more than any other city in the modern world, Istanbul embodies the ideal of unification. Somewhere beneath the magnificent waters of the Bosphorus, Europe and Asia meet, making Istanbul the only major city in the world that links two continents and many cultures and religions.
There is, of course, far more than geography to the magical hold of Istanbul exerted over man’s imagination throughout its fabulous history. Three separate empires ruled the world from this powerful capital – the Roman, the Byzantines and the Ottomans. Trace of their presence – in ancient walls, impressive hippodromes, royal basilicas, aqueducts, magnificent mosques, brilliant palaces – shape Istanbul’s alluring landscape and color its exotic texture. For more than 3000 years, this city has been at crossroads of cultures, a rendez-vous of the East and West, one of the reasons why it was chosen as the 2010 European Capital of Culture. The city’s identity reflects its experience accumulated in culture, arts, science and technology, as a center.
Today, Istanbul blends the ancient and the modern in a seamless tapestry of life. It stands, in a new world, as a model of free market economies, enlightened social reforms, cultural and religious diversity. In many ways, Istanbul is the capital of the future – a marriage of East and West for the benefit of both.
In November 2006 Istanbul’s candidacy was accepted and the city was declared as 2010 European Capital of Culture.
Some of the activities are:
|Lives and Work in Istanbul Project: This will bring 10 major European artists who have influenced the arts movements in the past decades together with young Turkish artists and allow them to work and create in a shared space. The works will be exhibited in museums dedicated to contemporary arts.|
|On the Way to 2010- Music; It is a concept that projects free open air concerts in different parts of Istanbul. Performances involve all kinds of music including classical music, jazz, Turkish Classical and Turkish Folk music|
|Cinema & Novel; There will be a unique opportunity to see the wonderful films of 10 major International directors in the film Project 10 Istanbul. There is also a novel writing contest that is encouraging international famous authors to write novels on Istanbul.|
|Arts & Technology Platform; The project aims for a new formation within the field of arts and technology.|
|International Ballet Competition; The project aims to enable local and foreign artists to orient themselves with regard to the international ballet platform by annualizing a ballet competition which will make an ongoing contribution to the cultural life of Istanbul.|
|Restoration of the Topkapi Palace Kitchens; In order to enable the Topkapi Palace Museum to become a “universal museum” at international standards, a sustainable integrated project is implemented.|
As you participate at PIMRC 2010 please make sure to enjoy the special activities for the 2010 European Cultural Capital. http://www.istanbul2010.org
PIMRC 2010 will be held at ICEC (Istanbul Congress & Exhibition Center) located at the Conference Valley in the heart of the city. The conference headquarters hotel will be the Istanbul Hilton Hotel at only 3 minutes walking distance from ICEC. The Conference Valley offers more than 6000 hotel rooms within walking distance from ICEC. Please click accommodation to view hotels.
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ICEC (Istanbul Congress & Exhibition Center): For more detailed information on ICEC please click on www.icec.org
Seating in the middle of the East and West, Istanbul is easily accessible from almost every corner of the world. Europe and the Middle East are only 3 hours away, while the Americas and the Far East are at a distance of less than 12 hours.
AIRPORT and VISA
Istanbul is served by the brand new State-of -the-Art International Ataturk Airport, where more than 50 airlines operate direct flights. Another international airport of Istanbul is the Sabiha Gokcen Airport serving domestic and international flights on the Asian side of Istanbul. The airport is named after the first woman pilot of the Republic of Turkey.
For participants from some countries, a visa to Turkey may be required. Participants are advised to contact the nearest Turkish Embassy in their country. For some nationals, visa applications are available at the airport. For further details please check http://www.mfa.gov.tr
Airport to city :
In the city :
Kongresist offers the possibility to organize transfers from and to the airport.
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The official language of the Conference is English.
The climate of Istanbul is mild. Good weather and sunshine is the predominant weather during September with temperatures ranging between 17°C / 20°C (64°F / 68°F) during the day and 12°C / 14°C (54°F / 57°F) at night.
Turkey is 2 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
CURRENCY and CREDIT CARD
The Turkish currency is the Turkish Lira (TL). Cash may be exchanged in banks and exchange offices during office hours. The official exchange rate is listed daily at the banks and exchange offices. All major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and stores.
The electric current in Turkey is 220V, 50Hz. European standard plugs Type C (Europeans 2-pin) with 2 round pins are used.
The registration fees do not include insurance for participants. The organizers cannot be held responsible for accidents to conference delegates for damage to, or loss of, their personal property however caused, personal accident, sickness, cancellations. Registrants should therefore make their adequate personal insurance arrangements.
REGISTRATION DESK HOURS
The registration desk will be opened at the ICEC Convention & Exhibition Center during the following hours.
Sunday September 26, 2010: 14:00 noon to 19:00 hrs.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 08:00 to 18:00 hrs.
Participants are requested to register upon arrival and receive their conference bags and CD ROM Conference Records. Additional CD ROMs may be purchased at the Registration Desk for €50.- each for PIMRC or the Workshop.
The three empires that have successively ruled in this area have left numerous monuments that form the priceless heritage Istanbul proudly treasures and offers to the visitors. Some of the most important that must be seen are:
Roman Heritage :
The Roman Hippodrome : The Roman Hippodrome stands near the Blue Mosque and
Hagia Sophia at Sultan Ahmet Square. The scene of chariot races and the center of
Roman and Byzantine civic life, the hippodrome houses the Obelisk of Theodosius, the
Column of Constantine and the Bronze Serpentine column.
The Istanbul land walls (city walls) : Built in the 5th century by the Emperor Theodosius II, the walls stretch 7 km. from Topkapi Gate on the Sea of Marmara along the seashore to the Golden Horn and 5 km from the Golden Horn, overland to Topkapi Palace. With many towers and bastions, they were once the mightiest fortifications in Christendom.
UNESCO has declared the land walls, and the area which they enclose, one of the cultural
heritages of the world.
The Aqueduct of Valens : Built by the Emperor Valens in 368 AD, the aqueduct supplied
the Byzantine and later the Ottoman Palaces with water. About 900 meters of the double tier arches remain.
The Archaeological Museum : The Archaeological Museum contains very rich collections of antiquities to include the celebrated Alexander Sarcophagus.
Byzantine Heritage :
The Basilica of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) :
This ancient basilica, now a museum, built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all times Its immense dome rises 55 meters above the ground and is 31 meters in diameter. The beautiful interior decorations include fine Byzantine mosaics.
St. Irene Museum : St. Irene was the first church in Istanbul and was built by Constantine in the 4th century and rebuilt by Justinian. It is reputedly the site of a pre- Christian temple.
Kariye Museum : The 11th century church of St. Saviour in Chora is, after Hagia Sophia, the most important Byzantine Museum in Istanbul. The walls are decorated with
superb 14th century frescoes and mosaics on a gold background. This church influenced
the European Renaissance.
The Basilica Cistern : Close to Hagia Sophia is the 6th century Byzantine cistern known as the Yerebatan Sarayi or the Underground Palace. Fine brick vaulting is supported by 336 Corinthian columns.
Ottoman Heritage :
Sultan Ahmet Mosque : Facing Hagia Sophia, is the supremely elegant, imperial six minareted mosque of Sultan Ahmet I. Built between 1609-1616 by the architect Mehmet, it is known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decorations of hand made blue Iznik tiles.
Suleymaniye Mosque : The mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, where he and his wife
are buried, is considered as the most beautiful of all imperial mosques in Istanbul. It was built between 1550 and 1557 by the famous architect Sinan whose wish was to surpass the builders of Hagia Sophia. Standing on a hill, it is conspicuous by its great size, emphasized
by the 4 minarets rising one from each corner of the courtyard. Inside, the mihrab (prayer niche) and the mimber (pulpit) are of finely carved white marble and there are fine stained glass windows. Adjoining the mosque were theological schools, a school of medicine, a soup kitchen and hospice for the poor, a caravanserai and a Turkish bath.
Rustem Pacha Mosque : Another skillful accomplishment of the great architect Sinan, this
mosque was built in 1551 on the orders of Rustem Pacha, Grand Vizier and son-in-law of
Suleyman the Magnificent. The exquisite interior is covered with some of the finest examples
of Iznik tiles.
Sehzadebaşı Mosque : Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent ordered Architect Sinan to construct the mosque in memory of his son who died in 1543. The construction of the mosque and the complex was completed in four years. It is located at Sarachane across the Istanbul Municipality Palace.
Fatih Mosque : This imperial mosque, constructed between 1463 and 1470 bears the name
of the conqueror of İstanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet and the site of his mausoleum. Standing
on top of one of the hills of Istanbul, it is notable for its vast size and great complex of religious buildings surrounding it : theological schools, hospices, a hospital, baths, a caravanserai and a library.
Topkapi Palace :
Overlooking the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn stands in a maze of buildings that was the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The first courtyard is a magnificent wooded garden. On the right of the second court, shaded by cypress and plane trees is the palace kitchen, now housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain, while on the left is the Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives and concubines of the sultan. The third court contains the Hall of Audience of the Sultan, the library of Sultan Ahmet III an exhibition of robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury and an exhibition of miniatures. In the center of the third court is the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed.
Dolmabahce Palace: Built in the mid 19th century by Sultan Abdulmecit II, Dolmabahce Palace has an impressive 600 meters frontage on the Bosphorus.
The most important section is the vast reception saloon, with 56 columns and a huge crystal chandelier weighing 4 ½ tons and lit by 750 lights.
Beylerbeyi Palace: On the Asian side of the Bosphorus, the Beylerbeyi Palace was built by Sultan Abdulaziz in the 19th century of white marble. It possesses a beautiful garden with magnolia trees. It was used as a summer residence of the sultans and a guest house for visiting foreign dignitaries.
Rumeli Hisarı : The Rumeli Fortress, built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1452 prior to the
conquest of Istanbul, was completed in only four months. One of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world, it is now used as the setting for some of the events of the Istanbul Festival.