In over forty years of living in and visiting Istanbul I had never been to the Military Museum, so it was on the list for the latest trip
It is housed in what was once Turkey’s equivalent to Sandhurst, a huge barracks and military training establishment, not too far from Taksim Square.
The most famous graduate being Atatürk and, as you shall see, his classroom is still preserved.
After the Republic was founded in 1923, all matters military moved to Ankara and the huge building in Istanbul underwent several changes of function until the army decided to set up the Military Museum.
To get there take the Metro from Taksim to Osmanbey (only one stop) and there are signs in Osmanbey for ‘Askeri Müzesi’ which get you out of the Metro Station at the right exit for the few minutes walk to the Museum.
The entry charge is 4TL and your Museum Card won’t work here as it is run by the Army, not the Ministry of Culture & Tourism. The building is vast and full of all kinds of weaponry and armour – small (and not so small) boys’ delight.
But there are also many things that will appeal to everyone such as the chain that closed off the Golden Horn to prevent enemy ships entering when the Byzantines were in power.
We’ll write another article telling you how Mehmet the Conqueror dealt with the chain on another occasion.
Meanwhile here’s the section of chain on display.
And Atatürk’s classroom which is full of life-sized figures (including one alleged to be the man himself) but with one seat vacant on the front row so you can sit down and have a photo op – as did every Turkish visitor we saw enter the room.
But the Military Museum has one incredible attraction that is worht the 4TL entry fee all on its own – and we’ll tell you about that next time.