Closed for many years for restoration, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum reopened in late 2014 and is located on the edge of the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet.
The building was once the palace of Ibrahim Pasha (1493-1536), the Grand Vizier, son-in-law and friend of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.
It is the only private Ottoman mansion to have stood the test of time since the 16th century - largely because the tradition was to use wooden material for Ottoman mansions rather than the masonry used here.
Inside the former mansion lies the remnants of the vaulted western wall of the Hippodrome, uncovered in excavations of the ground floor from 2012-2014.
Upstairs are the galleries that feature religious artifacts dating back to the 8th century including the Damascus papers and Korans from the various dynasties of the today’s Middle East that feature exquisite calligraphic work.
The remnants of each dynasty is presented in chronological order which culminates in the woodwork, carpets, metal work and ornaments from the Ottoman and Seljuk eras.
The highlights for many visitors are the sacred relics of the Prophet Mohammad and the highly decorative metal doors and door knobs of Great Mosque of Cizre.
Ethnography exhibits will also reopen here in the near future.
The museum is a good diversion for an hour from the crowds of the Hippodrome for those interested in Turkish and Islamic art. Use your 72-hour Museum Pass for free entry, otherwise check the website for entry fees.