Historic mansion turns into city museum
ISTANBULThe mansion of Colonel İbrahim Çolak, one of the heroes of the Turkish War of Independence, has been restored to its original and turned into a museum in the northwestern province of Bilecik’s Bozüyük district.
Çolak, who served in the Ottoman army during the Balkan Wars and World War I, was a critical in figure in the beginning of the War of Independence in Anatolia.
Known as Çolak Pasha, Çolak became a deputy after the proclamation of the Turkish Republic and made great contribution to the district’s economy by establishing a lumber factory in Bozüyük.
His mansion was built in 1930 and he lived there until his death in 1944. His son, industrialist and deputy Ertuğrul Çolak, donated the mansion to Bozüyük Municipality in 2004.
In 2014, the municipality began restoring the ruined historical mansion, ultimately converting it into a museum after two years of work.
Nearly 1,400 photos, historical documents and personal belongings were donated to the museum by people in the area.
Besides artifacts collected from Bozüyük and other villages, a tank and various weapons were given to the museum by the Turkish General Staff.
Finally, the Bozüyük City Museum took its shape, displaying the district’s history from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods, as well as its traditions and customs.
A special section was also formed in the museum to showcase the life of Çolak and his family, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and the War of Independence.
The Bozüyük City Museum was opened at a ceremony on March 29 with the attendance of Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı.
“As a pilot project, we have city culture courses in universities and some high schools. The reason why we have offered these courses is to introduce our children to the cultural and historical values of their environment and the cities they lived in. We have received very successful results from this pilot project.
Such city museums are the subsidiary elements of these courses. It would not be easy for children to make city culture a part of their life without these museums,” said Avcı in an opening speech.
Bozüyük Mayor Fatih Bakıcı said the museum building had been abandoned for years. “We restored the building, which covers a land of 1,450 square meters, at a cost of 1.5 million Turkish Liras.”
Second museum keeping Ottoman soul alive
Avcı also attended the opening of another museum in Bilecik, which has been a Turkish city since 1075 and which played a significant role in the formation of the Ottoman State. The Living City Museum, which has been designed in line with Ottoman architecture, displays recent history.
The museum displays the Ottoman era as well as its social and cultural features. It aims to become a cultural center with wax sculptures, 3D Bilecik animations, interactive applications, education and conference halls, exhibition halls and a Yörük (Turkish nomads in Anatolia) tent offering regional tastes.
The museum is home to materials used by local people in their homes, village and working life. The materials have been donated by people whose names are written in the museum.
The museum project, made by Bilecik Municipality, has received support from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Bursa-Eskişehir-Bilecik Development Agency (BEBKA) and Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University.