Istanbul Cultural Tour


The Museum of Innocence is both a novel by Orhan Pamuk and a museum he has set up. From the very beginnings of the project, since the 1990s, Pamuk has conceived of novel and museum together. The novel, which is about love, is set between 1974 and the early ’00s, and describes life in Istanbul between 1950 and 2000 through memories and flashbacks centred around two families – one wealthy, the other lower middle class. The museum presents what the novel’s characters used, wore, heard, saw, collected and dreamed of, all meticulously arranged in boxes and display cabinets. It is not essential to have read the book in order to enjoy the museum, just as it is not necessary to have visited the museum in order to fully enjoy the book. But those who have read the novel will better grasp the many connotations of the museum, and those who have visited the museum will discover many nuances they had missed when reading the book. The novel was published in 2008, the museum opened in Spring 2012.



Istanbul Toy Museum was founded by poet/author Sunay Akin on 23 April 2005. The museum which houses the most favorite examples of toy history, spanning from 1700’s to today is located in a historical mansion.

Istanbul Toy Museum was established with toys- that were purchased from collectors, auctions and antique shops for over 40 countries in 20 years by Sunay Akin-offers the history of world to the visitors with more fun and catchy learning methods. For example; an attempt to reach the moon which is established in space toys section and industrial revolution toys which is established in train toys section are described by the language of toys. With this in mind the decoration of the museum was designed by stage design artist Ayhan Dogan. With the distinction of being founded by a poet and designed by a stage design artist, the museum constitutes to be the first in the world.

One of the most important features of the museum is; embracing the families with all its members. With this feature the museum is the place for three generations to spend time together and where they can share happiness. Grandfathers/grandmothers, fathers/mothers and grandchildren enjoy to tell about their periods to each other while hitting the roads towards their childhoods in a time machine. The museums hallways resonate with the sounds that describe the childhood memories with the sentence “I had it”.

The gap about the toy museums in Turkey was filled with Istanbul Toy Museum and Istanbul Toy Museum has gained an importance place among its examples in the world. On November 2012 TOYCO Istanbul meeting (European Union of Toy and Children Museums) was held by Istanbul Toy Museum in Turkey for the first time. Istanbul Toy Museum has thus been a pioneer about establishing children and toy museums in the world and made Istanbul to win the title “the capital of toy museums”.

Istanbul Toy Museum became a model for the other toy museums to be established in our country. In 2011 Antalya Toy Museum (belongs to Antalya Metropolitan Municipality), in 2013 Gaziantep Play and Toy Museum (belongs to Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality) and 2015 Atasehir Play Museum (belongs to Atasehir Municipality) opened their doors to the  visitors under the counseling and the curating of Sunay Akin who is the founder of Istanbul Toy Museum.



Old Book Sellers Bazaar (Sahaflar Çarsisi) is a place where used book sellers are located in the Grand Bazaar. This not only contains thousands of precious books, but also 556 years of history. Used book sales was first initiated by Umayyad in Andalusia in the year of 700’s. The second center was Baghdad and the third center was the Ottoman state. Used bookstores in the Ottoman Empire moved to Istanbul after Bursa and Edirne, the first capitals.

The transition of the empire to the ascension phase was the scene of the rise of the old book sellers. After the conquest of Istanbul, the interest of the Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror closely related to science and artistry enabled him to develop old book sellers. The first old book sellers in Istanbul began to appear scattered within the Fatih Mosque outfit. The Antiquarian Bazaar was established in Hagia Sophia and in Eyup Sultan. This disorganized structure went into construction with the construction of the Grand Bazaar and in 1458 the best place the Grand Bazaar was reserved to the old book sellers. 

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