Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

On January 7, 2018, the Bulgarian St. Stephen Church, also known as the Bulgarian Iron Church, reopened after an extensive 6-year restoration. With Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte conducting the opening, a celebration ceremony took place in the neighborhood of...

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Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

Despite being considered one of the most talented architectural figures from the early years of the Turkish Republic, the majority of Nazimî Yaver Yenal’s designs remained on paper, never constructed into reality. His life philosophy, however, lays a strong foundation for today with talent, skill,...

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Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

With a focus on “Old, new, eternal” or “ Ortak nesiller entegrasyonu ” (“the integration of joint generations),” Turkey ONE Association aims to protect and promote Turkish culture and heritage and build bridges between Turkey and countries around the world. The association’s founder and president,...

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Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

While many think of buildings when they think of architecture, architecture goes beyond — and at times underground. Tünel, an underground funicular that connects Karaköy to İstiklal Caddesi in a 90-second ride, boasts a unique architectural history that links neighborhoods and cultures, from past...

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Positioned between the art worlds of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is home to art galleries and museums serve to contemporary art, and traditional artists as well.

From the Uyghur Kingdom to the rule of Süleyman the Magnificent to today, Turkish artists have been using miniature to detail their world. The art form has changed with the times, and today’s artists are blending past and present to tell a story truly their own. Miniature has a long history in...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

From the Golden Age of Islam to contemporary times, music and sound have been incorporated into medical healing practices. Today, scientists and doctors are rediscovering the healing power of sound and creating new methods of restoring health. Music and sound have been used for centuries to enhance...

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Photo from Robert College Archive

Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

It may be surprising to many people today that the first continually running American college outside the US was founded in Istanbul, way back in 1863. Its birth was linked to major trends of the time, such as Western missionary activity in the Ottoman Empire. But there was also an element of...

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Sedat Girgin - Photo by Merve Goral

Positioned between the art worlds of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is home to art galleries and museums serve to contemporary art, and traditional artists as well.

Since the March-April issue of 2014, a new and original piece of art has appeared on the cover of The Guide Istanbul, with each city vignette drawn by Sedat Girgin. The young illustrator not only creates whimsical visions of the city but is also an up-and-coming children’s book artist who is taking...

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Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

“Time weaves a tapestry over the seven hills! From seven colors, seven sounds, numberless signs,” so wrote Turkish poet Necip Fazıl Kısakürek. Most Istanbul residents will recognize this reference to seven hills, but few can say where they actually are. The clue is in the date: it was the...

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Positioned between the art worlds of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is home to art galleries and museums serve to contemporary art, and traditional artists as well.

The arts and culture scene on the European side of Istanbul has lost some of its luster with the closing of the Atatürk Cultural Center in 2008; this has led to the rise of arts and culture, theater in particular, on the Asian side of the city. The district of Kadıköy became the new theater hub,...

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Positioned between the art worlds of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is home to art galleries and museums serve to contemporary art, and traditional artists as well.

Ai Weiwei's first solo exhibition in Turkey presents a wide selection of works from this internationally famous Chinese artist.

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Zeynep Ahunbay by Merve Göral

Discover Istanbul’s arts & culture scene with exhibition reviews, museums, concerts, interviews with artists, and contemporary art news.

The many older parts of Istanbul are home to a number of historic buildings from the Byzantine
and Ottoman eras that require regular maintenance to keep
their magnificence. Thankfully, architects such as Professor Zeynep Ahunbay have spent their lifetimes overseeing the conservation and restoration...

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Discover Istanbul’s arts & culture scene with exhibition reviews, museums, concerts, interviews with artists, and contemporary art news.

One of the Psalms, composed over 2,500 years ago, says, “Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.” This splashing, crashing percussion has been making noise since the Bronze Age, as seen in stone carvings from ancient Anatolia to Egypt and Greece. But the cymbals...

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FAHRELNISSA ZEID AT TATE MODERN

Positioned between the art worlds of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is home to art galleries and museums serve to contemporary art, and traditional artists as well.

Despite her acclaimed exhibitions across Europe and the US in the 1950s and 1960s, Turkish artist Fahrelnissa Zeid’s name has been heard more at auction houses than at galleries in recent years—she became the Middle East’s highest- selling artist with a $2,741,000-sale at Christie’s Dubai in 2013....

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Vassiliki Papageorgiou

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

The 1923 population exchange between Turkey and Greece was a defining moment for both countries, with around 2 million people relocated to new lands over the border. Although many people traveled with what little they could carry, they did not leave their memories behind. In Greece, their...

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District

Features

A short walk from the bustling Ali Suavi Sokak, referred to by locals as “The Artist’s Square,” Art Sequoia is a newly opened ceramics studio that adds another layer of creativity to this neighborhood. Walking down the street, bright and eccentric ceramic pieces immediately capture your attention and it is impossible not to peek inside to see the hand-crafted personality and details of these objects. Rabia Özdemir Tokat, the owner of Art Sequoia, characterizes her space as a not only a shop but also a workshop space and art gallery. Her motivation for opening the store is to reach people who seek to use art as a form of rehabilitation or therapy, and she invites anyone to participate in one of her ceramics workshop sessions.

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Private museums are a major player in Istanbul’s cultural scene, but their owners often make their careers in industries quite different from art. Orlando Carlo Calumeno has done something similar, though on a smaller scale, in his Teşvikiye shop, Orlando Carlo Calumeno Collection & Archives....

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The gallery ARTER, located on the busy avenue of İstiklal Caddesi, is dedicated to contemporary art locally and internationally. The gallery is known for its innovative and conceptually challenging exhibitions, featuring installation, video, painting, and sculpture. Directions ARTER is on İstiklal...

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Sahne Pulchérie is the performance venue of Sainte Pulchérie Lycee Français, a French high school in the Beyoğlu area with a history going back to 1846. The school's performance space opened in 2013 with the aim of showcasing Turkish theater in Istanbul, with a diverse program of contemporary dance...

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UNIQ Istanbul

Situated on a vast area of 150 thousand square meter and surrounded by green, UNIQ Istanbul is a special arts&culture, convention, entertainment, and business center. UNIQ Istanbul, holds the Volkswagen Arena , UNIQ Open-Air Stage , UNIQ Hall, and UNIQ Müze, hosting concerts, festivals,...

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The Women's Library and Information Center

The Kadın Eserleri Kütüphanesi ve Bilgi Merkezi Vakfı (Women's Library and Information Center Foundation) houses a library of over 10,000 volumes and hundreds of periodicals in a Byzantine-era buildingin Balat. Founded in 1990 to record the lives and work of women, the library's collection covers...

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Sahaf is a hidden museum/library filled with ancient books on Turkish history, gathered from all over the world. Directions: The library is located inside the Point Hotel Barbaros, a short footwalk from Zincirlikuyu bus station and the Gayrettepe metro stop.

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Open since January 2010, Borusan Music House is the performance center of Borusan Center for Culture and Arts (BKS). As of 2011, the house will be in operation from October through May. Wednesdays will be dedicated to music lessons; Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays will be showcasing arts events....

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Doku Art Gallery first opened a venue in Ankara in 1984 and by 1989 it had expanded to two new galleries. To share their passion for art with art-lovers in Istanbul, Doku Art opened a gallery in Istanbul in 1997. Since then, the gallery has been serving painting enthusiasts with selective and...

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Founded in 2010 by Sabiha Kurtulmus, Merkur stages exhibitions of mostly paintings, photography, sculptures, and video with the aim of supporting modern art. Merkur works with established Turkish artists as well as up-and-coming Turkish artists in order to introduce new talent to the Turkish...

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Open since November 2005, Tim Show Center presents performing arts events, movie premiers, concerts, exhibitions, and much more. This high-tech venue provides wireless internet connection, 8 simultaneous translation cabinets, a Grand Hall that has 1,810 seating capacity, and three cafés at the main...

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One of the most important supporters of the arts in Istanbul, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) is an independent, non-profit organization founded in 1973 by 17 businessmen and art appreciators under the leadership of Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı. The initial goal of the organization...

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The Topkapı Palace Library was established in 1928 when the the Ağalar Mosque in the third courtyard of the palace was transformed into a library. The books were gathered from numerous sections of the palace and new collections have been either purchased or donated. The library features a...

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Since its foundation in 2000, the Iş Sanat Cultural Center has been host to numerous musical and stage performances including such renowned names as Yo-Yo Ma, Charlie Haden, Gidon Kremer, Dianne Reeves, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Dave Brubeck, and many more. Apart from showcasing classical music, jazz,...

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Dorock XL is a live music venue focusing on rock on the Asian side in Kadıköy. This is one of the largest indoor live music venues in Istanbul, and its roster shows many important local acts, such as mor ve ötesi, four in the pocket, Peyk, and Yükset Sadakat. The venue has a capacity for up to 1,...

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A small independent and alternative theater located close to Tunel and Galata, that hosts a wide range of mainly Turkish language plays.

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X-ist gallery is an innovative contemporary art gallery founded by collector Daryo Beskinazi and art director Kerimcan Güleryüz. X-ist aims to provide an alternative space for young artists who are not yet established but have the talent to make their mark on the art scene and the future. With a...

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Founded in 1998, Pi Artworks is a contemporary art gallery that represents both Turkish and international artists. Directed by Yeşim Turanlı, who is also the co-founder of the Istanbul Art Museum Foundation, the gallery is located in Istanbul's historical Mısır Apartmanı, with another branch in...

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Founded in 2009 by seven artists as an art initiative, Sanatorium made its way to a solid art gallery persona hosting contemporary artists both local and international as well as emerging and established. The gallery not only works to establish itself in the art world by hosting the works of...

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Caddebostan Cultural Center is an artistic hub for the Asian side of Istanbul, hosting theatre, music, and ballet events as well as conferences and art, photography, and literary exhibitions. The center's boutique art library, open since 2007, has a collection of 2,000 local and foreign books that...

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What began in 1989 as a way of creating a focus of cultural activities on the Asian side of the city, continues today as a gallery in Teşvikiye. Features both group and solo exhibitions by a wide range of Turkish artists.

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