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.

Artist Feyhaman Duran, now the subject of a large exhibition at the Sabancı Museum, is one of Turkey’s talented curiosities. Born in the Ottoman Empire, made in the Turkish Republic, master of Arabic calligraphy and Western painting, trained in Istanbul and Paris – Duran’s life combines many...

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Balkan Ateşi

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

Clarinetist Serkan Çağrı is taking the stage on January 27 with Yarkın Rhythm Group and Macedonian Roma band Kocani Orkestar in a concert called “ Balkan Fire ”. Though you might think there is only one Balkan group among them, geographically they are all from the Balkans: Çağrı is from Turkish...

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Zorlu PSM, Yeni Yıl Yeni Umutlar

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

Although it may just be a date on the calendar, many of us see the New Year as a chance for better things in the months ahead. The saying is “start as you mean to go on,” and for that reason Zorlu PSM is starting with an unforgettable display of opera: “ New Year, New Hopes ”. With world-class...

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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 complex geography of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Caucasus has been united and separated under many empires over the centuries. Current politics divides these regions on the basis of nation and religion, but that was not always the case. In his exhibition ArTriangle “City...

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Epiphany, Photo by Merve Göral

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.

If you had been on Fener pier on January 6 last year, you would have seen an unusual sight: men wearing only swimming trunks as they waited in small boats on the Golden Horn. While the whole city was wrapped up in coats and scarves, these men seemed to be untouched by the cold. Perhaps the...

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ballenesque-room

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

Roger Ballen is undoubtedly one of the most influential photographers of the 21 st century, making the Istanbul Modern exhibition “Roger Ballen: Retrospective” mandatory viewing for all art appreciators in the city. Publishing his first book, Boyhood , in 1979, over the following decades Ballen...

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Bookshelves, photo by Emre Dörter

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.

Located between Istanbul University and the Grand Bazaar, the Beyazıt neighborhood is packed with historic buildings that are still in use today. Istanbul University itself used to be the Ottoman Ministry of War, while on the other side of the square is the recently restored II Bayezid Hamamı . In...

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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.

One of the earliest inventions of civilization is the written word itself, as well as buildings designed to house the most important documents. The value of learning was so great for ancient civilizations that the Library of Alexandria was known as a wonder of the world; after this library’s...

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Seyhan Arman, photo by Merve Göral

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

Actress Seyhan Arman has found acclaim for her lead role in Merve Gezen’s short film Nerdesin Aşkım? (Where are you my love?), which won the Canada International Film Festival’s 2016 Perfection Award and the Human Rights Prize at the 2016 Atlas Awards. This is the brief, bitter story of two...

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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.

Kalenderhane Mosque is a 12th-century building located in the picturesque Vefa district, close to the Beyazıt tram stop and the Vezneciler metro station. This mosque is one of Istanbul's many that occupy a former Byzantine church. Restoration work in the 1970s uncovered frescoes that indicate an...

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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.

The Bayezid II Hammam dates back to the 16th century, when Sultan Bayezid II commissioned it as part of the complex around the nearby Beyazıt Mosque. In recent decades the hammam had fallen into disrepair, but it was restored as part of Istanbul University in 2015. This hammam is also known as the...

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Burak Delier - Free Society of Fools and Crooks. Photo by Rıdvan Bayrakoğlu

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

In our time, movies such as Catch Me If You Can or Ocean’s 11 have shown that fictional con men can make more money in the cinema than the real ones do on the street. But public consciousness of con men goes back farther than we might think, in fact to a man named William Thompson in 1840s New York...

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Mustang (2015) and other Turkish movies of the past 25 years

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

Turkish cinema experienced its first boom in the 1950s-70s, during a period called the Yeşilçam era (named after a Beyoğlu street that was the Hollywood of Istanbul). However, political and economic turbulence in the 70s and 80s badly affected the industry. The next renaissance arrived in the...

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Madame Tussauds Istanbul, photo by Merve Göral

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.

Visiting a wax museum is one of those must-dos when visiting a city, to get a taste of the local and international celebrity flavor. Already in 20 other cities around the world, Madame Tussauds has opened its 21st branch in Istanbul. With more than 50 lifelike wax figures of prominent Turkish and...

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District

Features

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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Founded by Demet Müftüoğlu-Eseli and Alphan Eseli, Istanbul'74 is a gallery in the Karaköy neighborhood that not only displays exhibitions and artistic collaborations of leading personalities from all over the world, but also hosts cultural events, festivals workshops, and talks. One of the most...

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This opera and art center houses an auditorium that can hold up to 1054 people, as well as a children’s nursery, so adults can enjoy the show. The namesake comes from Turkey's famous opera singer Leyla Gencer, whose 2500 piece collection from her home in Italy is also on display inside the center.

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Under the supportive wing of Şekerbank, Açıkekran Yeni Medya Sanatları Galerisi aims to not only bring together art enthusiasts but also to promote new forms of visual art to the public. The gallery focuses on contemporary art in new media, as well as highlighting emerging artists who are yet to be...

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