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being a crossroad for many civilizations in the history, Istanbul and
Turkey houses many remaining and ruins dating back even to the
Paleolithic ages. Near the ruins from the Hellenistic , Roman and
Byzantines, a deep focus on the Turkish, Seljuk and Ottoman history
could be made in Istanbul and environment. The most famous museum
should be mentioned is the St Sophia (Hagia Sophia). It was built as a
church in the 6th century, used as a mosque after the 15th century and
changed to a museum in 1934 by Ataturk.
Like the Ayasofya Museum, the St. Irene Museum was originally a church. It ranks, in fact, as the first church built in Istanbul. Constantine commissioned it in the fourth century and Justinian later had the church restored. The building reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. (Open every day except Monday, but requires special permission for admission).
Across the street from the Ibrahim Pasa residence is the Museum of Turkish Carpets which contains exquisite antique carpets and kilims gathered from all over Turkey. (Open every day except Sunday and Monday).
The Mosaic Museum preserves in site exceptionally fine fifth and sixth-century mosaic pavements from the Grand Palace of the Byzantine emperors. (Open every day except Tuesday).
The Aviation Museum in Yesilkoy traces the development of flight in Turkey. (Open every day except Monday).
In the Military Museum the great field tents used by the Ottoman armies on campaigns are on display. Other exhibits include Ottoman weapons and the accoutrements of war. The Mehter Takimi (Ottoman military band) can be heard performing Ottoman martial music between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. (Open every day except Monday and Tuesday).
Ataturk's former residence in Sisli now serves as the Ataturk Museum and displays his personal effects. (Open every day except Saturday and Sunday).
The grand imperial caciques used by the sultans to cross the Bosphorus are among the many many other interesting exhibits of Ottoman naval history that can be seen at the Naval Museum located in the Besiktas district. (Open every day except Monday and Thursday).
Also in Besiktas is the Museum of Fine Arts that houses Turkish paintings and sculptures from the end of the 19th century to the present. (Open every day except Monday and Tuesday).
The City Museum, located within the gardens of the Yildiz Palace, preserves and documents the history of Istanbul since the Ottoman conquest. (Open every day except Thursday).
Also within the gardens are the Yildiz Palace Theatre and the Museum of Historical Stage Costumes, with its richly decorated scenery and stage, and its exquisite costumes. (Open every day except Tuesday).
The Rahmi Koc Industry Museum, in the suburb of Haskoy on the coast of the Golden Horn, was an Ottoman-period building, formerly called Lengerhane, for iron and steel works. Today it houses exhibits on industrial development. (Open every day except Monday).
For something different try the Caricature and Cartoon Museum in Fatih on Ataturk Boulevard under the Bozdogan Aqueduct in the 16th century Gazanfer Aga Medrese. (Open daily 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m.)
Originally built in the 15th century as a kosk, or pavilion, by Mehmet the Conqueror, the Cinili kosk, which houses the Museum of Turkish Ceramics, contains beautiful 16th- century specimens from Iznik and fine examples of Seljuk and Ottoman pottery and tiles. (Open every day except Monday).