Museums in Turkey’s heartland Anatolia shed light on history
The Bandırma Ship Museum in the Black Sea province of Samsun, where the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, initiated the Turkish War of Independence, as well as buildings that were turned into museums in the central provinces of Sivas and Erzurum, where important meetings were held once, attract many visitors.
May 19 is a milestone in Turkish history as it was the day when Atatürk arrived in the Black Sea city of Samsun from Istanbul in 1919 to launch the war that transformed the nation into modern Turkey four years later.
The Bandırma Ship Museum, which was built based on the original structure of the Bandirma Ferry and opened to visitors in 2005, was “the greatest witness” of the War of Independence. Atatürk set off from Istanbul with his comrades in arms and set foot in Samsun on May 19, 1919, after a journey on the ship.
Located in the 35,000-square-meter open-air Museum of the War of Independence, the Bandırma Ship Museum showcases 189 artifacts, including the personal belongings of Atatürk.
A total of 60 photographs of Atatürk, a wall clock made in the 1870s, a telephone, ruler, compasses, tables and chairs are among the objects exhibited in the museum.
Atatürk’s service revolver, texts in his handwriting, and his clothes are also on display.
Atatürk and Erzurum Congress Museum
The building which hosted the Erzurum Congress, in which the foundation of the Republic of Turkey was laid, was also a witness to history.
A hall in the building, which was repaired after a fire in late 1924, was opened to visitors in 1960 as the Atatürk and Erzurum Congress Museum.
The building, which also hosts the Erzurum Painting, Sculpture and Gallery Directorate, was transferred to the Culture and Tourism Ministry after restoration work was carried out by the Turkish Grand National Assembly between 2011 and 2013.