The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (Türk ve Islam Eserleri Müzesi) provides a fascinating insight into the complexity and depth of these traditional arts. It is housed in a building that was once home to the Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha, the 16th century Grand Vizier of Süleyman the Magnificent. Known locally as the İbrahim Paşa Sarayı (Ibrahim Pasha Palace) it is a stately building made up of cool darkened rooms, set around a central garden courtyard. It mostly survived the fires that destroyed many of city’s other Ottoman residences, though parts of it were rebuilt in stone.
The impressive collection contains serves as an Islamic art gallery, featuring fine examples of calligraphy in Islamic art, Islamic art paintings, Islamic abstract art and contemporary Islamic art. There is also an enthralling ethnography section, containing information about Anatolian life.
Make sure to see one of the hand-woven Uşak Anatolian carpets, located in the carpet section of the museum – one of the finest carpet collections in the world.
The exhibits from the Selçuk era demonstrate a high level of skill, and include wall tiles and woodcarvings which seem to have influenced Ottoman style.
There’s a fascinating collection of Yörük (Turkish nomad) folk art that includes tents used by the nomads – located on the basement floor.
There is a magnificent door rescued from the Great Mosque in Cizre (in the south-east Turkey), which dates back to 1155.
Hand made Seljuk tiles at Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Istanbul
When it was last open, the Turkish and Islamic Arts entrance fee was 20TL.
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum hours were from Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm, but please note the museum is currently closed due to major restoration works and is set to reopen in 2015.