Istanbul museums aim to attract over 10 million visitors in 2018: Official
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
“We think there will be more than 10 million museum visitors in 2018,” Yılmaz told state-run Anadolu Agency, as Turkey marks Museums Week on May 18-24.
Yılmaz said that in 2015, more than 9 million people visited the city’s museums, the highest number of visitors.
The Topkapı Palace alone, a residence to the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years, has attracted over 830,588 visitors during the first four months of this year, according to Culture and Tourism Ministry data.
According to the data, Istanbul museums were visited by over 2 million visitors during the same period.
Istanbul boasts a total of 91 museums, including 35 private museums, 19 museums operating under the Culture and Tourism Ministry and three belonging to the Turkish military. Twelve are national palaces.
Among the highlights of Istanbul’s museums are the Hagia Sophia, a Christian church until it was converted into a mosque when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul in 1453 and later turned into a museum in 1935, as well as the Dolmabahçe Palace, built by Sultan Abdulmecid in the mid-19th century and the place where President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, died.
Another gem in the city is the Museum of Innocence, opened by Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and based on his 2008 novel of the same name.
“We are conducting an Istanbul Museums Workshop on May 22-23 to find ways to introduce Turkish museums more widely,” said Coşkun.
He also noted that the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Istanbul’s historic peninsula will be open until 1.30 a.m. during the holy month of Ramadan.
“While there is such liveliness in the Sultanahmet area during Ramadan, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum should not be closed,” he added.