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

While jazz may have originated in the African American communities of New Orleans, today it is enjoyed and celebrated in every major city around the world. From November 3-19, Istanbul will get its chance to be in the jazz limelight with the 27th Akbank Jazz Festival, which will host over 200...

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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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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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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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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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Welcomed as a fresh art platform in the Tophane neighborhood, Mixer made its debut in the art world with a philosophy that aims to make art accessible to everyone. After deciding to halt exhibitions at the Tophane location, Mixer moved to Sıraselviler Caddesi in Cihangir. Mixer consistently...

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Founded by Derya Demir and Barış Berker Karakoç, Galeri NON is devoted to artists who embrace non-disciplinary art practices, resulting in new languages and artistic experiences. It relocated from Mısır Apartmanı to the artsy Tomtom neighborhood off of Istiklal Caddesi, where it contineus to host...

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Mısır Apartmanı is the beautiful art nouveau-style neighbor of the Church of St. Anthony on Istiklal Street. Constructed on the foundations of the Trocadero Theatre in 1905, it has been home to many important names, including Cemal Kuntay and Mehmet Akif Ersoy (crucial members of the Turkish...

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Founded by Demet Müftüoğlu-Eseli and Alphan Eseli, Istanbul'74 opened a second gallery in Galatasaray in June 2014. Parallel to their first location in Karaköy, the space will display exhibitions and artistic collaborations of leading personalities from all over the world, but also hosts cultural...

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O'Art, found on the second floor of Odeabank's Etiler branch, is a gallery dedicated to the various media of contemporary art practice. The gallery aims to increase exposure of contemporary Turkish art worldwide and offer a supportive platform for this work.

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Tarlabaşı Community Center is a social support center run by the Tarlabaşı Community Support Association. It provides social, psychological, and educational support for residents of Tarlabaşı, an area close to Taksim that is undergoing urban renewal. The center is open to volunteers in various...

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Atölye Pera is a photography workshop and gallery located in Asmalımescit, Beyoğlu. Their courses include private photography lessons, street photography, basic photography, photography and social media, mobile photography, and portrait photography. Special photography trips are also organized,...

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Gaia Gallery is a contemporary art gallery specializing in Turkish artists and aiming to create a powerful platform for local art. Since moving from its previous location in Elhamra Pasajı, as of November 2016 Gaia is on Serdar Ömerpaşa Caddesi in Dolapdere. This purpose-built building has two...

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Derinlikler Sanat Merkezi was first established in Cihangir in 2006, after which it relocated to its current spot in Teşvikiye, Şişli. Derinlikler focuses on modern exhibitions, as well as hosting auctions and basic art classes. When not hosting temporary exhibitions, the gallery also invites...

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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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