Istanbul, with a history that goes back 8,500 years, has been the host of a number of civilizations in its past. It is this legacy that is well reflected in the city's famed Topkapı Palace Museum, Hagia Sophia Museum, Hagia Irene Museum and the Archeology Museums to name a few. However, the city is fast becoming a metropolis of a new era of museums that focus on an array of subjects such as carpets, caricatures, classic cars, toys, the postal service and lighting. With eight million tourists that visit a year, Istanbul's extensive selection of public and private museums for a bridge from the past to the present.
The following is a list of Museums well worth a visit in Istanbul:
- Ministry of Culture and Tourism Museums: Topkapı Palace Museum, Hagia Sophia Museum, Hagia Irene Museum, Chora Museum, Great Palace Mosaic Museum, Fethiye Museum, Istanbul Archeology Museums, Anadolu Hisarı Museum, Rumeli Hisarı Museum, Türbeler Museum, Yıldız Palace Museum, Cihannüma Palace, Islamic Sciences and Technology Museum, Turkish Islamic Arts, Galata Mevlihanesi Museum,
- Department of Palaces' Museums: Aynalıkavak Kasrı, Beykoz Kasrı, Beylerbeyi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Florya Atatürk Deniz Palace, Ihlamur Kasırları, Küçüksu Kasrı, Maslak Kasırları, Şale Palace,
- General Staff Museums: Naval Museum, Aviation Museum, Military Museum and Cultural Sites Command,
- General Directorate of Foundations: Carpet Museum, Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Museum, Kilim and Rugs Museum, Turkish Foundation Construction And Artworks of Istanbul Museum,
- Private museums; Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Istanbul Toy Museum, Rahmi Koç Industry Museum, Pera Museum, Santral İstanbul, Sakıp Sabancı Museum, İş Bankası Museum, Sirkeci Garı TCDD Museum, Press Museum, Bahçeşehir College Science Museum, Bakırköy Mental and Neurological Disorders Museum, Cumhuriyet Education Museum, Florence Nightingale Museum, Galatasaray Museum, Haluk Perk Museum, Hilmi Nakipoğlu Camera Museum, Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar Museum, Kazım Karabekir Paşa Museum, Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, Orhan Kemal Museum, Ottoman Bank Museum, Türvak Cinema and Television Museum, PTT Istanbul Museum, Rezzan Has Haliç Cultures Museum, Sadberk Hanım Museum, History and Arts Museum (Turkish Maritime Businesses), Ural Ataman Classic Automobile Museum, Yapı Kredi Bank Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, 500. Yıl Vakfı Turkish Jews Museum, Cerrahpaşa Medicine History Museum, Atatürk Arboretum, Çağlar Boyu Lighting and Heating Appliances Museum, Beşiktaş Gymanstics Club Museum, Mehmet Arsay Classic Automobiles Museum, Magic Ice Museum, Ayşe and Ercüment Kalmık Vakfı Museum, Jurassic Land, Fire Fighting Museum, Caricature Museum, Islands Museum, Istanbul Tekel Museum, Jale Kuşhan Wax Sculpture Museum,
- Istanbul Municipal Metropolitan's Museums; Yerebatan Sarnıcı, Panorama 1453 History Museum and Miniatürk.
-THE HISTORY OF MUSEUMS
The remnants of Turkey's first museums spans back to the thirteenth century and the Seljuks. By the 19th century, 1846 to be precise, the Tophane-i Amire Müşiri Fethi Ahmet Paşa founded Istanbul's first museum in Hagia Irene Church.
Sadrazam Ali Paşa (1815-1871) rearranged and renamed the museum ''Müze-i Hümayun-İmparatorluk Museum''. In 1869, Edward Goold, an Irishman took over the museum's administration, in 1872, a German, Dr. P.A. Dethier was brought to Turkey to move the Çinili Palace.
When Osman Hamdi Bey took over the museum's management in 1881, a whole new era began for Turkish museums. In 1884, Osman Hamdi Bey built the Istanbul Archeological Museum at the Çinili Palace and went on to establish a museum in Konya in 1902 and in Bursa in 1904.
Osman Hamdi Bey passed away in 1910and his brother Halil Ethem Bey was brought in to replace him.
Halil Ethem Bey especially contributed to developing Anatolian Museums, and during his time he set up the Turkish Islamic Arts (1914) and the Istanbul Oriental Arts Museum (1925).
The Turkish Republic's first ever Museum building was opened on May 25th, 1928 by Afghan King Amanullah Han as the Ethnography Museum.