ISTANBUL (AA) – A 1,200-strong team has been working to prepare a major celebration of the 563rd anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest by the Ottomans – an event which will attract 1 million people, city authorities said on Thursday.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality said in a statement that the huge crew had been working on preparations at the city’s seaside Yenikapi venue, which is being decorated with advanced technology.
On May 29, 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered Istanbul, then called Constantinople, from where the Byzantines had ruled the Eastern Roman Empire for more than 1,000 years. The conquest transformed the city, once the heart of the Byzantine realm, into the capital of the new Ottoman Empire.
Around 1 million people are expected to attend Sunday’s celebrations where they will enter through 150 gates amid tight security, the municipality said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas will also attend the celebrations.
A 563-strong janissary band team will perform during the event and the Turkish Air Force’s Turkish Stars, air acrobatics team will fly past.
The municipality also said that “world’s largest” 3D mapping stage will revive the conquest with life-size ship models and a theatrical show.