The rich collections of the museum are exhibited in two buildings and the garden. The large building contains a collection of old boats, while in the smaller rooms and halls of the three-storied main building, you one can find equipment and furniture from old ships, model ships, and parts of the private yacht of Ataturk. Paintings depicting various naval events adorn the walls. On the top floor old cannons, banners, and weapons used in different centuries are displayed.
The gallery of historical boats is reached from another entrance on the seaward side. The elegant boats used by palace members and other important personalities in the 18th-20th centuries, sailing and rowing boats, replicas, parts of ships and other mementos, all of them in very good condition, are exhibited in the large hall.
Naval uniforms are displayed on mannequins. The basement is reserved for the parts and sections of ships which served in the Turkish navy, as well as the torpedoes.
The Istanbul Naval Museum is the most comprehensive museum of its kind in Turkey. With its extraordinarily rich and varied collection, numbering some 20,000 pieces, it is among the major museums of the world. The Naval Museum operates under the Commander of the Navy and was the first military museum founded in Turkey.
With orders of the Naval Commander-in-Chief Bozcaadali Hasan Husnu Pasha and the support of the Commander of the Imperial Naval Arsenal Admiral Arif Hikmet Pasha, the Naval Museum was founded in 1897 by Commander Suleyman Nutki in the Imperial Naval Arsenal (now Taskizak Shipyard in Haskoy, Istanbul), as the Museum and Library Administration Office.
At first the museum opened its doors mainly as a repository of unclassified objects. However, in 1914 the Minister of the Navy Cemal Pasha, as he had realized with all other aspects of the Navy, renovated both the museum and its administration when he appointed Lieutenant Ali Sami Boyar Director. A maritime artist, Boyar subsequently reorganized the museum collections scientifically, established a ship-model workshop for building models and half-models of Turkish ships, and a workshop to manufacture human figures for museum displays, all integral steps in the development of the museum to its present status.
At the beginning of World War II, the collections were moved to Anatolia for safekeeping. After the war, the museum collections were returned to Istanbul in 1946, this time to a more suitable building complex of the Dolmabahce Mosque. Following two years of preparation by the Museum Director Haluk Sehsuvaroglu, the new museum was opened to the public on 27 September 1948.
With the widening of Dolmabahce Avenue, it was necessary to relocate the museum once again. It was moved a short distance in 1961 to its current location in Besiktas, next to the tomb and monument of Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarossa).
Hayrettin Iskelesi St., Besiktas/ Istanbul
Phone: +90 (212) 327 43 45
Open daiy (except Mondays & Tuesdays)
between 09:00 - 12:30 and 13:30 - 17:00