Authorities at Istanbul Airport have released a documentary telling the story of the airport, considered the largest airport project in Turkey’s history.

Described by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “a monument of victory”, the 56-minute documentary was entitled ‘A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport’. The documentary details the airport’s construction process, from the initial stages to its completion and full-time operation.

The result of almost 2,000 days of work, the film comprises 230 hours of camera shooting, including time-lapses taken from 100 different points by 20 cameras, over a period of three years.

The documentary’s main focus is on the airport’s dimensions and construction. While initial plans for Istanbul Airport expected construction works to be completed in ten years, the airport was built in three and a half years.

Construction works also involved the excavation of 750 million cubic metres of soil, as well as 320 million cubic metres of filling works and seven million cubic metres of concrete.

“This achievement is the product of Turkish engineering, our strong national economy, and above all, the ambition and determination of Turkish people,” said Istanbul Airport CEO Kadri Samsunlu.

“A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport” also focuses on the airport’s design process. To design the terminal, architects took inspiration from Turkish-Islamic art and architecture, using motifs found in mosques, baths and domes from around the country.

Inspired by Turkish tradition, design firms Pininfarina and AECOM shaped the airport’s traffic control tower like a tulip. In Turkish culture, tulips symbolised feminine beauty as well as a spiritual dimension.

“We have shot this documentary film to set an example for new projects and freeze this success story in people’s memories,” added Samsunlu. “I am a true believer that international travel will return to normal faster with the development of a vaccine, as a result of which travel restrictions will be lifted eventually.”

In a previous interview with Airport Technology, Samsunlu outlined the airport’s pathway to recovery and said the airport expected to reach passenger numbers on par with 2019 by the end of 2021.

“Turkey also has a very strong commitment to open the country for tourism,” he commented. “While the summer period will be a bit slow, we are expecting a very good recovery in the final four months of the year.”

Watch the documentary here.