Askeri Muzesi - Istanbul - Turkey

Address: Valikonagi Caddesi, Istanbul (See map)
Telephone: +90 (0)212-2332720
Website: not available

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: restaurant
Size of the museum/site: large
Year of visit: 2004
Overall rating:

Description: When you've succeeded in reaching the Askeri Muzesi (Military Museum) in this vast and bustling city you're overwhelmed by hall after hall displaying rifles and pistols, armour, helmets, swords and other memorabilia. For people who are into small weapons this is a very good thing, for others it may be a bit less spectacular. Anyway, the performances of the Mehter Band (the world's first military musicians), that regularly plays on the museum grounds, are something every visitor will enjoy.

The museum's exhibitions are ordered chronologically, starting with the rise of the Ottoman Empire, a period in which they conquered a considerable part of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa, and ending with the Turkish participation in various UN-missions throughout the world. We have to make a compliment to the museum for the way all exhibits are displayed and with the fact that all items are consequently accompanied by English translations.

We're always interested in the way museums deal with local/regional military historical events, in this case the conflict between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus. We weren't disappointed by the attention given to it: many photographs, flags and weapons involved in the conflict are displayed. A bit remarkable in our view is the fact that it's called a peace-operation.

Compared to the other features Istanbul boasts this is not the most thrilling attraction, but if you're interested in (military) history the Askeri Muzesi makes for a good addition to your trip.

Heroic soldier Seyyid operating a heavy (German built) cannon during the Dardanelles Battle. Seyyid was said to have carried a 276 kg. projectile all by his own.

Maquette of the conquest of Constantinople (nowadays Istanbul), during which the Turks moved their boats over land to bypass the chain across the Golden Horn and to surprise the city's defenders.

The original chain used to prevent enemy ships from sailing up the Golden Horn from the Bosphorus.

Ottoman battle helmet from the 17th century.

Map showing the borders of the Ottoman Empire at its peak. With the Ottoman forces standing at the gates of Vienna.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk discussing his battle tactics.

Rocket launcher captured from the Greek Cypriot Army by the Turks during the (as the museum describes it) 'peace-operation' in Cyprus.

Rarely seen Chinese anti-tank gun captured during the Korean War.

Turkish CF 104 (Starfighter) in an excellent shape.

All kinds of cannons on display in the outside part of the museum.