Taksim all dressed up for New Year’s Eve .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - Known as the center of Istanbul and the heart of the city’s cultural life, Taksim Square has been decorated accordingly for the New Year’s celebrations. With the cooperation of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Beyoğlu Enrichment and Preservation Association, the square has been festooned with colorful lamps.

Chairman of Beyoğlu Enrichment and Preservation Association Nizam Hışım said the light installations and design were made by Hayri Güzel. Noting that last year’s ornaments in the shape of tulips, which is one of the symbols of Istanbul, were used again and in addition the tulip shaped lights, Hışım said tree motifs were also a part of the decorations. There are also snowflake figures displayed in the square.

The trees in front of the French Consulate, which is in the entrance to İstiklal Street in Taksim, were also decorated with colorful lights. "Decorating the lights made the scene look magnificent," said Hışım. "Designer Hayri Güzel chose this project for preparing Taksim for the New Year. Choosing among hundreds of projects, Hışım decided that this project would need a smaller budget."

"During World War II in England, they staged many concerts, theaters and operas and so we have decided to give people something to cheer up about while everyone is depressed by the present financial crises," said Hışım.

Saying that if they had left Taksim without lights and decoration for the people celebrating the New Year, then people may be more pessimistic, Hışım said.