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Newspaper article (with a heading “Cultural Palace, built in 23 Years, burned down in Fire within 45 Minutes”), published in Günaydın Newspaper on November 28, 1970, the day after the fire

1970-11-27/1970-11-28

SALT

SALT
İstanbul, Turkey

Details

  • Title: Newspaper article (with a heading “Cultural Palace, built in 23 Years, burned down in Fire within 45 Minutes”), published in Günaydın Newspaper on November 28, 1970, the day after the fire
  • Date: 1970-11-27/1970-11-28
  • Transcript:
    "Last night during the performance of 'The Crucible', the audience applauded the fire that broke out during the fire scene, thinking it was part of the play." "People watched the fire with tears in their eyes. One spark was enough to destroy the Cultural Palace building, the construction of which had taken 23 years to complete. During the performance of ‘The Crucible’ the flames, caused by an electrical ignition, surrounded the whole building which had cost 86 million Turkish lira. The audience rushed out in great panic. The Istanbul Fire Department could not stop the fire and the huge building burned down in front of the crying citizens of Istanbul.” “It was the crown of Taksim Square.” “It had cost 86 million Turkish lira to build. The Cultural Palace opened on April 12, 1969. 23 years after the groundbreaking ceremony there was a grand opening and the Cultural Palace, which cost 86 million Turkish lira, sat in Taksim Square like a crown. You see the Cultural palace in the photo.” “It had only been open for a year and a half. The interior of the Cultural Palace, one of the most modern and largest buildings in Turkey, was also very beautiful. Millions had also been spent for its interior design. The foyer, seen in the photo, was one of the most beautiful parts of the palace.” “All the effort proved fruitless. The palace, that had taken years to complete, bursted into flames in half an hour, and the firemen’s struggle was in vain. Meanwhile, historical artefacts that belonged to Murat IV, on loan from the Topkapı Palace could not be saved either, they too were destroyed by the fire.” “The building burned down in the furious fire. We had waited 23 years for the Cultural Palace to be finished. The building was completed, there was an opening ceremony and several performances were staged, and on what turned out to be the final night, the audience was there to see a performance of ‘The Crucible’. But the play did not end with applause, the inferno created a panic in the building. “Only the frame was left. All the fire departments in Istanbul tried to stop the fire, foam extinguishers were brought from the Air Force Academy, but all the efforts proved futile. A single spark on stage, and the whole building burned down in 45 minutes.” “Artefacts that belonged to Murat IV, that were on display in the building at the time and worth millions, also turned to ashes.” “Some people were crushed during the panic the fire caused. The officers said that there were no casualties.” (On page 6) The Günaydın print run yesterday was For Istanbul: 219.682 Ankara: 96.740 Adana: 33.285 İzmir: 43.130 Total: 392.837 issues.
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