Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Harbiye, Şişli - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'52.1"N 28°59'15.2"E / 41.047819, 28.987554


Introduction Hall
The Introduction Hall, which greets us at the main entrance of the museum, includes a model of the museum to make a general introduction to the museum, a souvenir section, publicity panels furnished with lights including photographic information about artifacts in the museum, publicity showcases in which collections of the museum are represented by an example from each one (such as rifle, sword, shield, horse forehead shield), the armoured Jannisary clothes and weapons exhibited in this showcase and a touch-screen information system providing the 3D images about the museum and the ‘Janissary Band’ displayed through a TV system.

"Foundation of Turkish Army" Hall
At the entrance of this hall which hosts examples from Central Asian Turkish Culture and history,  there is a panel showing the family tree of the Turks. The diorama depicting the event in which the Turks passed over the Great Wall of China dynamises atmosphere in the hall. The printed pictures of map showing the Turkish migration routes,  Sketch of Turan Tactics, decimal system army of Metehan, Gokturk and Uighur Alphabets, Maps of European Hun Turks as well as oil paintings depicting Tatung War, Atilla and his army, Central Asian Turkish Culture and Turkish Legends, Heroes and Heroines are exhibited.

Seljuks Hall
There are Malazgirt Pitched Battle panorama with maquette, oil paintings depicting Dandanakan Triumph, Miryokefalon Pitched Battle, leading thinkers in Anatolia, key governors from Turks and Seljuk State, known as the pivots in science, statue of Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey, his edict on Turkish language and a large map showing the  borders of Seljukian Empire in the hall.        

Ottoman State Establishment Hall
In the hall where information is given on the foundation of the Ottoman state, which has shaken the world from the very beginning of its foundation, there is a digital map showing the areas conquered in different colours by the Sultans, panel of advice by Ertugrul Ghazi and Sheikh Edebali to Osman Bey, an oil painting displaying the foundation of the Beylicate by Osman Bey and his appointment as the ruler of the Beylicate, various paintings of Ottoman sultans and oil paintings depicting decisive victories of that period.

Great Turkish States Introduction Area
The busts of the founders of the great Turkish states in history, flags, maps and information of these states and a list of the other Turkish states established throughout history are exhibited in this section. A copy of the Orhun Inscriptions, a text of Turkish history carved on obelisks and the first passage in history written in Turkish where the names and marks of  the Oghuz clans are listed and the name “Turk” is mentioned for the first time can also be observed.

Sultan Mehmet II & Sultan Selim I Corner
This section with a panoramic model portraying the mannequins of Sultan Mehmet, the Conqueror (1451-1481) and Yavuz Sultan Selim (1512-1520) on horseback and Turkish forces launching their ships into the Golden Horn during the conquest of Constantinople is one of the interesting corners in our museum.

Cutting Weapons Hall

Cutting Weapons of the Islamic Period
The oldest among edged weapons of the Islamic Period exhibited in this section dates back to the late 12th Century. The most important group among the swords in the collection is comprised of the spoils of the Egyptian Campaign of Yavuz Sultan Selim acquired from the Memluk Treasury in Alexandria. The Turkish swords, stilettos, daggers and "yatagans"  (an edged weapon used by the Janissary and the mariners known generally as the infantry class in the Ottoman army called 'levends') forming a large part of the collection have its origins in various periods ranging from the 15th century to the 19th century.

'Yatagans', which are exhibited in chronological order from the 16th century onwards in this section, constitute a separate group. The 'cenbiyes” daggers of Arabic origin from the 19th century and daggers of Turkish and Caucasian origin are among the weapons displayed in this section.

Another important group in the edged weapons hall is comprised of the Turkish, Memluk and Iranian axes and 'tebers', (a crescent shaped war weapon sometimes with two edges, generally used by the private guards of the monarch's escort and dervishes. It is a symbol of the dervish). The Military Museum has a rich collection of 'alems' (a finial used at the top of the flagpole and starboard pole and carried as a symbol before the armies). These alems displayed at the entrance of the edged weapons hall are mostly of Memluk and Iranian origin.

European Cutting Weapons
The swords of the Middle Ages acquired by Islamic States in the period of the Crusades (1094-1270) bear the traces of two different cultures with Memluk epigraphs inscribed later on their cutting blades. Most of these weapons were maintained in the armory in Alexandria and various epigraphs dedicated to Memluk sultans and emirs were also inscribed on them by the Memluk.

A large part of these weapons were transferred from Alexandria to the armory in Istanbul after the conquest of Egypt (1517) by Yavuz Sultan Selim and some of them was taken first to France and then distributed to other European nations after Napoleon’s Cairo Campaign in 1798. Among the swords displayed in this section, the epees and foils, which are the most popular types in the 14th and the 17th centuries, are predominant.

Along with a couple of small stilettos with elegant forms, the 19th century and 20th century European swords, which are plainer with their nickel-plating bodies, stylized pommels and hand protectors, complement the collection. The second group in this section is the group of stake weapons developed by the poor in the Middle Ages for defense. Their origins were agricultural implements. Halberts, Fauchards and Partisans are included in this group.

"The Conquest of Istanbul" Hall
In the “Conquest of Istanbul Hall” of the Military Museum, which has been recently organized, there is a diorama depicting the conquest. In the diorama, Ulubatlı Hasan is portrayed as planting the Ottoman flag on the bastions. The running of the ships on land and the moment of fall of Constantinople are portrayed through 3D and audible techniques. In addition to the chain fastened to the estuary of the Golden Horn and panels, a short film on the conquest is presented to the visitors.

Defense Arms Hall

European Defense Arms
European helmets constitute the largest part of the European defense arms in the museum. European helmets, the oldest samples dating back to the 14th century, are grouped under the following headings: Basinet, Barbute and Salade. The general characteristic of this group is the fact that their faces are open.

The change brought by the Renaissance in the third quarter of the 15th century is also reflected in the shapes of helmets. The closed helmets with heaps replaced the open helmets. These helmets, encircling the head, had holes to allow seeing and breathing on the face guards. The most recognized types of helmet in this group are the Armet and Close Helmets.

Along with helmets, armors are exhibited in the European Defense Arms Hall. In addition to the open type helmets, the era of the chain-knitted armor jackets came to an end and coarse suits of armour being comprised of multi part steel constructions with limited possibility of action were started to be produced. On several European armor jackets displayed in this hall, the influences of Ottoman art are observed.

We see that the open type helmets reappeared again due to the proliferation of fire arms in battlefields in late 16th century. Well-known examples of these types of helmet are Morion and Cabassets. After early 19th century, European helmets gradually transformed into special military caps used with uniforms with accessories of leather, fabric, silver thread, stripes and sakındırak. The development of these caps can be observed in the military caps of French, Russian, Prussian and Austrian states exhibited in this section.

Islamic Defense Arms
Islamic defense arms consist of helmets, suits of armor (jackets, armbands, knee plates), shields and animal armor sets (neck, rump and horse frontal armor). In the Islamic defense arms hall, a rich collection from the Ottoman, Memluk, Iranian, Akkoyunlu, Shirvanshah and Timurlu periods covering a period from the 14th century to the late 18th century is displayed. Even though these works are very similar in terms of form, adornment characteristics and manufacturing techniques, slight differences between them in terms of their forms and adornment motifs may be seen from period to period.

The preferred material for defense arms is iron due to its endurance. However, only in Ottomans, there are many materials produced through gilding on copper such as helmets, shields and horse frontal armors after the 16th century. A sub-group of defense arms includes the materials that are produced to be used merely in ceremonies. Helmets produced by the appliqué of the plates made by embroidery openwork, which was a method started to be used In the 16th century, on dark red velvet fabric (zerrin conical caps) and shields produced by wrapping colored silk thread on willow branches are the most striking examples of this group.

Firearms Hall
In the Islamic Fire Arms Hall, in which examples of fire arms with matchlock, flintlock, caplock and pin mechanisms covering a period from the 16th century to early 20th century are displayed, the development of the fire arms mechanisms can be observed. In the hall, examples of rifle and pistol manufactured in various European countries and the United States of America during a period between the 16th century and the 20th century are displayed as well.

The examples in this hall, where flintlock and matchlock rifles and pistols are exhibited, manufactured in Anatolia with Istanbul as the center and in the regions outside Anatolia such as Caucasian, Azerbaijan, the Balkans, Egypt, Syria and Arabian regions are evaluated in a historical period spanning three centuries from the 16th century to the 20th century. In addition to the Ottoman arms technology, the wealth of adornment techniques and motifs can be observed on these arms.

Atatürk's Classroom
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, received his Military School and War Academy education in the Military Museum building. He entered the Military School in 1899 and graduated in 1902 as a lieutenant. Attending the Military Academy in 1903, he completed his education in 1905 as a staff captain. The classroom, in which Mustafa Kemal studied in the Military Academy, was organized in memory of him. In the classroom, photographs and documents reflecting Atatürk's school life are exhibited.

Cannon Models Hall
In this hall, where wooden and cast cannon models are displayed, the object, which attracts the attention first, is the large wooden cannon model called "Hatıra-i Celadet". Among the objects displayed in the hall are wooden models of Ottoman cannons cast in the period between the 15th century and the 20th century and models of some cannons of foreign origin and some equipment related to artillery.

Somalia-Bosnia-Kosovo & Internal Security Hall

Somalia Section
In the Somalia Section of the hall, the photographs of the Turkish Troop that was deployed to Somali in 1992 under a resolution of the United Nations, the photographs, the battle dress uniform of the Commander of the United Nations Peace Force (UNOSOM) Lieutenant General (General) Çevik Bir and the plates presented to him by the Chiefs of Defense Staff of the foreign states are exhibited.

Kosovo Section
In this section objects presented to the Military Museum by the Kosovo Turkish Unit are exhibited.

Bosnia Section
Turkish Troops, while fulfilling their military duty in Bosnia, also managed to build bridges of diplomacy, culture and understanding between Turkey and the international community. In the hall, objects of the Turkish Brigade that served within NATO Forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina Federation are displayed.

Internal Security Operations Section
In this section, the photographs of children who were brutally murdered by PKK the terrorist organization, the photographs of the 'Mehmetcik', the Turkish Soldier depicted on duty and in the operations in mountainous terrains and various arms, explosives and various items seized during operations are displayed.

Archery and Cavalry Hall
Ottoman arrows and bows, leather, wood, marble and iron targets, cases for arrows and knives (called tikresh, kubur, kandil, sadak), wrist protectors, rings worn on the finger while stretching the bow (called zihgir) are among the museum collection of archery belonging to XVI-XIX centuries. In this section we can also see various objects used in manufacturing arrows and bows. Decorations for archery showing the success of the Ottoman sultans such as Sultan Mustafa I, Mehmed IV and Selim III in archery are among the valuable pieces of the museum.

Artillery Gallery
In this hall, there are examples of Belgium, French, Swedish, English, German and Italian cannons and mortars selected from the collection of the Military Museum are displayed. These cannons, the production dates of which vary from time to time within the period between the 15th century and the 20th century, are either iron or bronze cast. These cannons constitute a significant part of the collection in terms of art and technology, with their emblems of the states they originate from, their plant and stylized animal decorations used through embossing technique and the epigraphs on them stating the master, the workshop and the person whom the cast was dedicated to.

Mehter Instruments Hall
It is the hall, in which the originals and copies of the instruments that have been used by the Janissary Squadron still serving in the Military Museum up to the present day are exhibited. The instruments displayed in this hall are the pipes, kettledrums, reed flutes, bells, drums, clarions etc. In addition, a kettledrum used in the Mohaç Pitched Battle (1526) in the reign of Sultan Süleyman, the Magnificent is exhibited.

Harbiye Hammam
Additionally, by a new regulation the Turkish Bath of Harbiye military School has been restored and opened for visits.

Uniforms Hall
Military costumes which did not present a great diversity until late XVIII century start to diversify as the result of  renovation movements from Selim III (1789-1807) onwards. By the Regulation of Military Apparel promulgated in 1909, uniforms consisting of khaki jackets and pants were adopted. The Turkish Army has entered the War of Independence in this apparel. In the Costumes Gallery, officers’ uniforms, privates’ uniforms, epaulettes used in the Ottoman era and a composition depicting the XVI c. armoured infantry and armoured raiders are present.

Flags and Standards Hall
In this hall starboards from the Ottoman State period, legion starboards from the Republican period and  flags of foreign nations are displayed.

The Gallery of Martyrs
This hall is dedicated to our martyrs who have sacrificed their lives while gaining great victories throughout the history. In this hall, where the “Memorial Wall” on which the names of major great wars since the beginning of Turkish history are inscribed and the artefacts consisting of personal belongings  of the martyrs of Dardanelles are displayed,  the motto “Peace at home, peace in the world”  of the Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, translated to various languages is inscribed on the wall.

Naval Section
Artifacts such as late  XIX century shipping flags, submarine buoy, hurricane lamp, compass, submarine mine model and the first submarine model belonging to Turks are displayed in this section.


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