By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany
As Istanbul gears up for its European Capital of Culture inaugural shows, Today's Zaman reports
that preparations for the city's year as a European Capital of Culture have finally come to an end, and the Istanbul 2010 ECOC Agency is counting down to the inaugural performances, which will take place on Saturday.
Paper Milliyet adds that the £8.5 million TL inauguration will start at seven different places, inspired by the idea of the seven hills of Istanbul, with Tarkan kick-staring the celebrations in the entertainment hub of the sprawling metropolis, Taksim Square, following a performance by Groupe F, a troupe of pyrotechnicists who will be performing in Turkey for the first time.
Zaman's Turkish language site writes that Taksim will be closed to traffic during the hours of 16.00-22.30 (4-10.30 p.m. local evening time).
Meanwhile, paper Hürriyet's culture sections write that "Istanbul's charm will charm" and uses Tarkan's show as its by-line, which is scheduled to start at 21.15 (9.15 p.m. local time).
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Performances will be free to the public and relayed live, with fans across the globe hoping to catch the event online via the city's street cameras.
Alternatively, Istanbul2010's official site will also be offering a free online service to view the celebrations.
All the inauguration shows involve a huge number of people: 500 artists, 900 technical staff, an organizational team of 1,550, a 300-strong team of live broadcasters, 3,500 security staff, 100 directors and a coordination team of 750 people.
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