Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Beşiktaş - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'30.2"N 29°00'19.3"E / 41.041727, 29.005365


The Istanbul Naval Museum (Turkish: İstanbul Deniz Müzesi) is a national naval museum of the Republic of Turkey, located in Istanbul. It was established in 1897 by the Ottoman Minister of Navy Bozcaadalı Hasan Hüsnü Paşa. The museum contains an important collection of military artifacts pertaining to the Ottoman Navy. It is Turkey's largest museum, with a great variety of collections. Around 20.000 pieces are present in its collection. Being connected to the sea-forces commander in Turkey, it is also the country's first military museum.


The Istanbul Naval Museum is the most comprehensive museum of its kind in Turkey. With its extraordinarily rich and varied collection, numbering some 20,000 pieces, it is among the major museums of the world. The Naval Museum operates under the Commander of the Navy and was the first military museum founded in Turkey.

With orders of the Naval Commander-in-Chief Bozcaadalı Hasan Hüsnü Pasha and the support of the Commander of the Imperial Naval Arsenal Admiral Arif Hikmet Pasha, the Naval Museum was founded in 1897 by Commander Süleyman Nutki in the Imperial Naval Arsenal (now Taşkızak Shipyard in Hasköy, İstanbul), as the Museum and Library Administration Office.

At first the museum opened its doors mainly as a repository of unclassified objects. However, in 1914 the Minister of the Navy Cemal Pasha, as he had realized with all other aspects of the Navy, renovated both the museum and its administration when he appointed Lieutenant Ali Sami Boyar Director. A maritime artist, Boyar subsequently reorganized the museum collections scientifically, established a ship-model workshop for building models and half-models of Turkish ships, and a workshop to manufacture human figures for museum displays, all integral steps in the development of the museum to its present status.

At the beginning of World War II, the collections were moved to Anatolia for safekeeping. After the war, the museum collections were returned to İstanbul in 1946, this time to a more suitable building complex of the Dolmabahçe Mosque. Following two years of preparation by the Museum Director Haluk Şehsuvaroğlu, the new museum was opened to the public on 27 September 1948.

With the widening of Dolmabahçe Avenue, it was necessary to relocate the museum once again. It was moved a short distance in 1961 to its current location in Beşiktaş, next to the tomb and monument of Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarossa).


Maritime History Archives
The Historical Naval Archive has been founded after the establishment of Naval Ministry in 1867 and continued until 1928. Although the Naval Ministry was abolished in 1920, the old manuscripts, belonging to 1923 - 1928 period were included in this archive. Even a few number of the documents which were written before the establishment of the Naval Ministry (1867) are present. The classification of the documents, approximately 20 million pieces, have been continued and 15 catalogues were printed up to now. Several correspondence of the Naval Ministry regarding dockyards, ships, naval factories, ports and bases, naval training, legal courts, accounting office etc. can be found in the museum.

Photograph Archives
The collection consists of 12.340 photos about dockyards, fountains, military buildings, warships, merchant ships, ports and bases from Abdülaziz period (1861 - 1876) till today.

Naval Library
The library of the Naval Museum consists of 25.000 books, including manuscripts and portolans, most of which are about the seafaring and the naval history.

Chart and Map Archives
The archive consists 940 pieces which are navy maps and charts of different parts of the Ottoman Empire and Istanbul, and the coastal charts of Republic Period. The special pieces of the collection are four 16th century copies of "Kitabı Bahriye", which was written by Piri Reis and the maps which were used by Atatürk in Gallipoli War when he was the group commander of Anafartalar.

Application for Research
Foreign researchers should apply to Turkish General Staff via embassies / consulates in their countries. All applications will be answered in one month.

The three-story Main Exhibition Building contains 17 rooms and 4 large halls named after major wind directions, totaling 1500 square meters.


Atatürk Room
The entrance to the Main Exhibition Building is devoted to the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Displayed here are various objects used by Atatürk while on board a number of vessels, registry books off warships that he signed, paintings showing him with leaders of various nations, the map he used in the Gallipoli Campaign during which he served as Commander of the Anafartalar Group, and models of the ships that bore his casket from Sarayburnu to İzmit. Also here are Atatürk's bed and other memorabilia from the yacht Savarona, where he spent 54 days during his illness, his cabin from the yacht Ertuğrul, as well as scale models of the two yachts and of the freighter Bandırma.

Room of Martyrs
On the walls of this room are registers of sailors lost in battle or accidents from the 13th century to the present. Documents and objects relating to the Ertuğrul Disaster and the losses of the submarines Atılay and Dumlupınar, the freighter Refah, and the destroyer TCG Kocatepe are also displayed.

Lodos (Southwest Wind) Hall
Minelayer NusretThe Balkan Wars, the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, and the Turkish War of Independence represent the theme of this hall. Presented here are various objects collected from these battlefields, as well as paintings of warships and naval engagements from these wars by a number of important Turkish painters.

Original pieces, models, and paintings of influential historic vessels such as the minelayer Nusret, which changed the course of World War I by laying 26 mines on the night of 7-8 March 1915 at the mouth of Erenköy Bay near the entrance to the Dardanelles, the tugboat Alemdar, which ran arms from the Soviet Union to the Turkish Black Sea coast during the War of Independence, the battle cruisers Yavuz and Midilli, which also played important roles during the War of Independence, as well as the destroyer Muaveneti Milliye, and the gunboats Sultanhisar and Aydın Reis are also displayed in this hall. Also exhibited here are the enormous gold embroidered naval flags of 80 square meters from Baghdad ordered by Sultans Mustafa II (1695-1703) and Selim III (1789-1807).

Rauf Orbay and Charts Rooms
Hamidiye CruiserA separate room is dedicated to the battle cruiser Hamidiye and its commander Rauf Orbay, one of the most prominent figures in Turkish naval history. Rauf Orbay's uniform and desk, as well as a model of the Hamidiye, called the "Ghost Ship" because of its accomplishments in the Dardanelles, Black Sea, and Mediterranean during the Balkan Wars, are on display.

In the Charts Room are the Kitab-ı Bahriye (Book of the Sea) by the 16th -century admiral Piri Reis of Gallipoli and a map of the Mediterranean drawn on parchment by Mürsiyeli Tabip İbrahim in 1461, both outstanding examples of early cartographical art.


Upstairs Entrance Hall
On display in this hall are three important works by the Russian painter Aivasovsky, regarded as the most realistic painter of the sea, as well as works by Givanian, Van de Velde and Melkon. Also of interest is the large flag flown by the Turkish Admiral Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, with various symbols reflecting his tolerance towards diverse races and religions on the sea. The flag carries the "Fetih" Chapter from the Koran, below it inside crescents are the names of the four Caliphs, at the middle the Christian symbol of the Trinity, at its left the divine hand of God, and at the lower center the Jewish Star of David. This symbolism is a reflection of the Ottoman admiral's acceptance of sheltering the three prime religions of the 16th-century Mediterranean.

Keşişleme (Southeast Wind) Hall
In this hall is exhibited a model of the battle cruiser Sultan Osman-ı Evvel, built by and purchased from the British Government, but never actually delivered due to Ottoman Empire's entry into World War I on the side of Imperial Germany. The ship was later named Agincourt and commissioned by the British Navy. Ship models of different periods and classes, as well as numismatic items and paintings of Ottoman Naval forces and certain naval engagements are included in this hall.

Barbaros Room
Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, painter: Halil Paşa, 1909, oil paint, 82 x 65 cm In this small room, situated in the Keşişleme Hall, is a model of the flagship of the famous Ottoman Admiral Barbaros Hayrettin, and paintings representing the Preveze (Provesa) Victory of 1538, Turgut Reis (Dragut), and the siege of Malta.

Istanbul Room
This room is reserved for engravings and water and oil paintings depicting maritime scenes of old İstanbul.

Poyraz (Northeast Wind) Hall
Various weapons, models of machines, navigational instruments and other technical equipment from the 13th through the 20th centuries are displayed in this hall. An exhibit devoted to the products of Ottoman Imperial Naval Arsenal includes industrial materials, decorative items, plans of docks and ships, paintings, and models.

Astrolabe 13th century
Of particular interest are the astrolabes, one of which is among the earliest examples of its type. Made for an Eyyubid Sultan in 1222, it was designed for the location of Damascus and its 12 zodiac signs are inlaid with silver. Derived from scientific practices, celestial observations, and theoretical calculations, the astrolabe maintains its remarkable precision in light of today's technology. A smaller hand-held astrolabe dating to 1534 is designed with İstanbul as its center of observation.These instruments were used to calculate heights of stars and their distances from the sun, the planets, and the moon; the changing positions of the stars on the horizon, distances between points on earth, as well as the time and seasons based on solar observations.

Kaptan Pasha (Chief-of-the-Navy), Naval Academy and Uniforms Rooms
Chief-of-the-Navy Room, an office of the Chief-of-the- Navy and a room of a Naval Academy reflect the modernization reforms of the Ottoman Navy in the first half of the 19th century (Tanzimat Period). Uniforms Room displays the change and development in outfits and uniforms of the Ottoman and Republic Period Navies from the 14th century until today.


Yavuz Room
This room is dedicated to the battle cruiser Yavuz, which witnessed the end of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Turkish Republic. Originally named the Goeben, this ship had belonged to the Imperial German Navy before entering the Dardanelles in 1914 to escape the pursuing British Fleet. Hoisting the Ottoman flag, possession of the ship was quickly transferred to theOttoman Government. Under its new name Yavuz Sultan Selim, the battle cruiser was deployed in the Black Sea to bombard the Russian coast. Consequently, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of Germany. Paintings and objects from the ship, including its navigational instruments, steering wheel, bells, cannon, turret nameplates, cartridges, as well as Goeben's Imperial German battle flag and Yavuz's flotilla flag, are on display.

Lanterns Hall
The Galleon Lantern, heigh t: 150 cm Kept here are naval lanterns, used both on land and at sea, portraits and busts of sultans and naval ministers, and a marble sundial dated to 1882 from the barracks of Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha. Other artifacts include Roman and Byzantine amphoras and certain objects recovered from the shipwrecks of the Çeşme Sea Battle of 1770.

Inscriptions Room
Inscribed plaques, panels, and sultans' monograms from fleets and sailing ships, as well as 15th-century ceramic tiles are displayed here. And also the instantaneous that is created by the divers' compressors and special clothing of divers' for deep and facial sea level can be seen at the entrance.

Ships and Memorabilia Room
A View of Ships and Memorabilia RoomFound here are the nameplates, bells, registry books, flags, and names of commanders and crews of vessels decommissioned during the Turkish Republic Period. At the entrance to this room is a display with a diving compressor and deep and shallow water dry dive suits.

Lithography Room
On exhibit here are marble blocks used by the Naval Printing Office for lithographs of Naval Academy diplomas, certain border designs, and other decorative fragments. Samples of pages of the Koran are also featured.


On display here are objects that are large and difficult to exhibit indoors, including cannons, mines, torpedoes, anchors, inscribed stone panels, and tombstones.

Of particular interest is the smoothbore wrought-iron cannon made in İstanbul in 1516 by the order of Yavuz Sultan Selim and used at the battles of Ridaniye and Mercidabık during his Egyptian campaign. Cannon cast in Britain, France, Venice, Russia, Austria, and Turkey demonstrate the evolution of the weapon from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Smoothbore wrought-iron cannon,16th Century, Ottoman Smoothbore wrought-iron cannon, 16th century, Venice Schwartzkopff Torpedo tube belonging to the Muavenet-i Milliye Battle Ship, 1910.

Other noteworthy pieces comprising the large collection are the 11-ton propeller, gun, anchor, and certain sections of the battle cruiser Yavuz, a cannon from the corvette Necmi Şevket, on which was issued at Thessaloniki the Declaration of the Second Constitution in 1908, as well as a 21-ton mounted gun used by the Orhaniye Battery in Gallipoli. Also in the outdoor area can be found torpedo tubes, ornamental monograms of the sultans and inscriptions in marble, a wall-relief of Piri Reis 16th-century map of the world, and busts of prominent Turkish admirals from the 11th century onward.

Fragments of the German submarine UB-46, sunk in the Black Sea during World War I, and the Uzaklar yacht, aboard which the Atasoy family circumnavigated the globe (1992 - 1997), are also on display.


Born in 1466, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha was proclaimed Admiral-in-Chief of the Ottoman Navy by Süleyman the Magnificent in 1534. He died in 1546, and his will written at his own request on 21 September 1534, requested that he be buried in the tomb he had built next to a medrese (religious school) in Beşiktaş, and a lamp kept burning over his grave. The tomb was built by thee architect Sinan in keeping with 16th century classical Ottoman architecture.

It was constructed of ashlar masonry on an octagonal base plan, and covered with a dome. Each of the seven façades have a pair of vertically arranged windows, totaling 14 in all, and the eight façade has a portico consisting of a peaked arch supported by two columns and covered over with cross vaults.

The zones above the windows and the dome are painted with decorative designs. Interred in the tomb are also Admiral-in-Chief Cafer Pasha, and the son and wife of Barbaros Hayrettin. The tomb is open for visit only on April 4 and July 1, during the commemoration of the Naval Martyrs' and National Cabotage Days, respectively. The bronze sculptures for Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha's monument were designed and cast in 1942 by sculptors Zühtü Müridoğlu and Ali Hadi Bara.


WEB SITE : İstanbul Naval Museum Command

Phone : +90 212 327 4345
Fax : +90 212 236 6893
E-Mail :

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