Press Media Museum

Basın Müzesi

The building that homes Istanbul Press Media Museum was constructed in the 19th century was commissioned by Ottoman Minister of Education Saffet Pasha who also occupied the posts of Minister of Justice and Minister of Foreign Affairs. The building was designed by the Fossati Brothers, Swiss architects. After the renovation of 1988 it was turned into a museum.

The museum exhibit items dedicated to the history of Turkish press media from the moment of its appearance in 18th century when it was created by Ibrahim Muteferrika, a diplomat, publisher and translator. In Turkey there were Armenian, Greek and Jewish printing houses, which however were banned from using Arabic type. The sultan’s court would not allow the Arabic alphabet to be used to print books typographically: the Arabic alphabet was sacred as the Koran was written in it. Ibrahim Muteferrika acquired a little experience of his own in this business after having printed a map of the Sea of Marmara in 1719 and a map of the Black Sea in 1727. Only in 1727 Sultan Ahmed III gave his permission to build a typography that would print books including Turkish ones, but with the exception of religious publications. The printing house opened in Istanbul in Ibrahim Muteferrika’s home where in 1729 a 2-volume Arabic-Turkish dictionary was printed, which was the first printed book of the Ottoman Empire. This is generally accepted to be the date when book printing started in Turkey.

The museum offers various publications and documents, as well as the works of well-known Turkish journalists. Huge printing-presses starting from the 1870 models are also on display, as well as old German offset presses and cameras of once famous journalists. The museums also exhibits publications of the newspapers of the early Republican period, including the one printed in 1928 in Arabic and Latin – before Ataturk prohibited the use of Arabic language as a part of his modernization program. Apart from the rich collection of artifacts the museum also features a cafe and a souvenir shop.

Address: Divanyolu Cad. 84
Opening hours: closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Mon-Fri 10 am – 8 pm
Coordinates: 41.008433, 28.972124