Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Address: At Meydanı No. 46, Sultanahmet Fatih
Phone: (0212) 518 1805
Web Site: www.muze.gov.tr
Working Hours: April–October: 9:00-19:00
Built in 1524, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi) is housed in the former palace of Ibrahim Pasa, the grand vizier to Suleyman the Magnificent. The palace is truly spectacular and impressive, and it was even more so in its heyday.
Before being converted into a museum, this remarkable palace served as a prison, a home for foreign ambassadors, a clothing factory, and a barracks. Today, the museum contains exquisite examples of Islamic calligraphy, tiles, and rugs, as well as ethnographic displays, such as dioramas of Turkic nomadic life.
Its carpet collection is rated as one of the best in the world and attracts serious history buffs and carpet enthusiasts.
In the main section of the museum, you will see treasures from the palaces of the Abbasid caliphates from Baghdad and Samarra, including colorful mosaics and a fresco depicting two slave girls dancing, as well as a splendid door rescued from the Great Mosque in Cizre (south-eastern Turkey), dating back to 1155. Add to that some Selcuk pieces and some fine “Miletus” ceramics (actually made in Iznik), and you have an excellent collection that is not to be missed.http://www.theguideistanbul.com/spots/view/857/museum-of-turkish-and-islamic-arts/