Turkey's big banks and philanthropic trusts vie to be seen as the greatest sponsor of the arts. İstiklal is a showcase for their generosity, and with this venue Akbank joins other institutions in offering a stage for the city's thriving arts scene. It has an art gallery, performance hall, dance studio and arts library.
The centre is the venue for the Akbank-sponsored İstanbul Jazz and Akbank Short Film festivals as well as for performances by the Akbank Chamber Orchestra. It also publishes the Contemporary Art Map İstanbul, a handy tri-monthly guide to art events around town. This is available at cafes, design shops and galleries, or online through its website.