Theater props find new life in Istanbul as birdhouses 

As winter approaches, birds scramble to find a warm place to call home and City Theaters run by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) are stepping in to help. Discarded old props and scenery from plays are being converted into birdhouses for Istanbul’s avian residents.

Carpenters dismantle the unused sets before sawing and polishing the wood – upcycling it into new accommodation for the birds. So far, 40 birdhouses have been built that can be seen hanging from the trees of Maçka Democracy Park, Gülhane Park and Yıldız Grove.

Ceyhun Ünlü, director of Istanbul City Theaters, says they have actually been doing the project for years but usually catered to cats. ”When we were sorting out old scenery this season, we decided to make homes for birds this time. Birdhouses are an integral part of Turkish architecture. So, we checked the parks in need of such structures, and our carpenters did the rest,” he said.

Süreyya Topaloğlu, a local spending time at Maçka Democracy Park, said she just noticed the birdhouses and appreciated the project.

“People don’t leave much room for animals so it’s nice to give them their own place. I hope it will expand to other parks. It’s also good that they’re made from recycled material,” she said.