It   was the first  in Turkey to bring together  Turkish and Islamic  art works. Preparations for the museum commenced in the late 19th century and were completed in 1913. Known as the “Museum of Islamic  Foundations”, the museum was opened to the public in 1914, housed in the imaret or hospice of the Süleymaniye Mosque complex, one of the masterpieces by the 16th century architect Sinan

In 1926, the museum was placed under their auspices of the Ministry of Education and renamed the “Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.”


As being one of the foremost   museums of its kind in the world  contains a collection of over 40.000 items representing almost every period and genre of Islamic art.

Comprising the most outstanding carpet collection of antique  carpets in the world., the carpet section has always been of particular interest and the museum’s main claim to fame. However, the museum also contains large collections of manuscripts and miniatures dating from the  7th to the 20th century and, Seljuk, Memluk, Timurid, Persian and Ottoman period metalwork, glassware, ceramics, woodwork and stone carving.


The newest part of the museum is the ethnographic section, where carpet and kilim looms, textile weaving, wool dyeing techniques and other features of  folk life and art  are displayed in their  original settings.


The Museum moved from the Süleymaniye Imaret to Ibrahim Paşa Palace in 1983. The palace is one of the   surviving examples of  16th century Ottoman secular architecture, built on the edge of the Roman Hippodrome. The exact date of the construction and the original function of the building are unknown, but in 1520 the palace was presented by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent to Ibrahim Paşa, who was to serve as his grand vizier for 13 years.


Historians record that Ibrahim Paşa palace was even larger and  more magnificent than Topkapı Palace, and the scene of many weddings and other celebrations. Following the  murder of Ibrahim Paşa in 1536, the palace kept his name. After being used  as a residence by succeeding grand viziers, the building was variously used as a barracks, the Land Registry was  built in the first courtyard


in the 19th century, and the Title Deed and Land Survey buildings were built here in 1908. However, it was not until the 1940s that a large section of the building was demolished to make way for the new Law Courts. The remaining sections of the palace were saved from demolition after public protests, restoration was carried out between 1966 and 1983, when the palace became the new home of the museum. The section around the second courtyard  in which houses  the museum today consists of the great ceremonial  hall and the  surrounding structure as depicted in Ottoman miniatures as well as engravings and paintings by western artists.


In 1984 the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts was awarded the Special  Commendation in the Museum of the  Year Competition organized by the Council of Europe, and in 1985 received a second award for activities aimed at introducing children to their cultural heritage from the Council of Europe and UNESCO.


Today, the gift shops located in entrance of the museum offers top quality museum replicas with very  reasonable prices such as  naturally dyed wool handmade  carpets, silk carpets, handmade kilims, copper and metal work, textile, ceramics, bone boxes, leather shadow puppets, glasswork, tiles, cushions, table covers,  place mats, scarves, woodwork, books, calligraphy works, marble paper, posters, cards.