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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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.

Considered the biggest art event of the season, the 15th Istanbul Biennial under the title “a good neighbour” welcomes 55 artists from 32 countries to display their works in six locations around the city. The featured exhibitions will attempt to answer some of the most burning questions about...

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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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Find reviews and recommendations for Turkish literature and cinema - gaining fame around the world, so browse our selection of top titles.

The large number of books available on Istanbul makes it hard to separate the dry from the inspiring. These recommended books will show you why Istanbul deserves its place in the pantheon of great cities. Bettany Hughes Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities
 The product of a decade’s research, British...

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Hilye-i Şerif

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.

The Hilye-i Şerif ve Tesbih Müzesi (Hilye-i Şerif and Prayer Beads Museum) is located in a restored 16th-century religious school close to Süleymaniye Mosque. The word tespih comes from an Arabic word for "praise," and the these beads are used for reciting specific prayers after the usual prayers...

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Hamdi Akatay

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

The Aegean port of İzmir is one of the most prosperous and developed cities in Turkey. But İzmir’s Tepecik neighborhood has a different story – this mainly Roma district is better known for poverty and crime. Hamdi Akatay, a Roma percussionist from Tepecik, is trying to offer something more hopeful...

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

Issues of identity and belonging are never far from the surface in Turkey, and have become one of the main themes for many contemporary artists. Serra Behar’s first solo show, To Remember , engages with society, personal history, and religion through 17 years of her work. Due to Behar’s training in...

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Şirin Pancaroğlu, photo by Utku Dervent

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

For many of us, the sound of the harp recalls images of cherubs in heavenly clouds, or classical concert halls. But Turkey’s foremost harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu takes the sound both forward and backward in time, using an Ottoman harp in her album Çengnağme and also collaborating with electronic...

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Hayalleme, Muhittin Bayram

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

When choosing the name of his website, Muhittin Bayram could have chosen something simpler – Old Istanbul, for example. Instead he chose Hayalleme, which means “imagining.” This reminds us that our view of the past is always framed by the present, colored by our own nostalgia and prejudices. More...

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

No LaB first burst onto the Istanbul scene with Modern Africa / A Rainbow Nation , showing a new face of art and design from Africa. Now with their second exhibition, the women behind No LaB, Ala Onur and Zeynep Ercan, believe that Turkish street culture is ready for a contemporary twist. The new...

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Guitar Player 2003 Oil on canvas 28x37 cm

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.

Born in 1932, Fernando Botero is the most renowned artist of South America and a cultural icon in his native Colombia. A range of his sculptures, paintings, and drawings is now on display in Istanbul for the first time, brought from a private collection in Switzerland. Called Everyday's Poetry –...

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

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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District

Features

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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An outgrowth of the Pera Museum , the Istanbul Research Institute is an academic organization supporting historical and cultural inquiry into the city’s Byzantine, Ottoman, and Republican periods. As Istanbul negotiates its emergence as a megalopolis, the institute seeks to better understand its...

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