Ethnography Museum of Ankara
The Ethnography Museum of Ankara built by architect Arif Hikmet Koyunoğlu, is located on the site of a Muslim cemetery on a hill in Namazgah, Ankara, Turkey. The hill was granted to Ministry of National Education in order to be built as museum according to Decree of Cabinet of Ministers dated November 15, 1925 by General Directorate of Charity.
The revolutionists took part in Turkish War of Independence until 1924 giving importance to national culture believed in establishment of an Ethnography Museum including material and spiritual cult inheritance. For this reason Hamdullah Suphi Tanrıöven, Minister of National Education, asked opinion of his work friend Turkologist J. Meszarow, one of the chiefs of Budapest Ethnography Museum for establishment of the museum, and he was offered to serve for this purpose, which is understood from the report submitted to Ministry of National Education by Prof. Meszarow on November 29, 1924. Thus in order to make preparation for establishment of Public Museum a special committee firstly chaired by Prof. Celal Esad (Arseven) in Istanbul in 1924 and chaired by Halil Ethem (Erdem). Director of Istanbul Museums in 1925 was established for collection and purchase of arts. 1250 arts purchased by the committee were exhibited in the museum completed in 1927. Hamit Zübeyir Koşay was appointed as Director of the Museum.
Gazi Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) visiting the museum on April 15, 1928 after being informed about the museum ordered the opening of the museum for the reason of visit of Afghan king Amanullah Khan to Turkey. The museum was opened to public on 18 July 1930 and remained open until inner courtyard of the Museum was allocated as temporary tomb in November 1938. The body of Atatürk was kept there until it was carried to Anıtkabir in 1953. This section is still kept as a tomb in the memory of Atatürk, there is following inscription on the white marble:
"This is the place where Atatürk who passed to eternity on 10.11.1938 lay down from 21.11.1938 until 10.11.1953."
The Ethnography Museum served as a mausoleum of Atatürk for 15 years, until the completion of Anıtkabir. It has been visited by Presidents, ambassadors, foreign delegates and public. Works were continued during this period in the museum. Required changes were made for International Museum Week of 6-14.11.1956 and the museum was opened for public visits again.
The architect of the building is Arif Hikmet (Koyunoğlu), who is considered as one of the most valuable architects of first period Republic.
The building has rectangular design and is one domed. Stone walls are covered with kufeki stones. Forehead section is covered with marble and decorated with carvings. 28 steps are used for entrance into the building. There is a 4 column, three way entrance system. When entered through the door. One reaches the room under dome and to columned section called inner courtyard. There is a marble pool in the middle of the courtyard, and roof is left open. When this inner courtyard is allocated as temporary mausoleum for Atatürk, the pool was transferred to the garden and the roof was closed. There are small-big size halls around the inner courtyard in symmetry. Administration section is adjacent to the museum and is two storey.
The Bronze Atatürk sculpture on horse in front of the Museum was made by Italian Artist P. Conanica upon direction of Ministry of National Education.
The Ethnography Museum is the museum where Turkish art from Seljuk era to present time is exhibited.
Public clothes, jewellery, shoes, slippers samples collected from various regions of Anatolia, woman and man socks from Sivas region, various bowls, laces, scarves. Belts, handkerchiefs, bed sheets, bride costumes, bridegroom shaving sets, old traditional Turkish art are exhibited.
Technical material and designs unique to Turks and carpets, weaving benches from Uşak, Gördes, Bergama, Kula, Milas, Ladik, Karaman, Niğde, Kırşehir regions are exhibited. Among fine art samples of Anatolian Mine arts there are Memluk boilers from 15th century, Ottoman sweet boilers, hand washing jugs, trays, coffee trays, meal tables, cups, candle scissors etc. are exhibited.
Arrows, bows, lighting pistols, rifles, sword and other things from Ottoman Period, Turkish pottery and porcelain and Kütahya porcelains, religious and sect properties, Turkish inscriptions are exhibited with the nice samples.
Seljuki Sultan Keyhüsrev III's throne a finest sample of Turkish wooden works (XIIIth century), Ahi Şerafettin Sandukası (XIVth century), Nevşehir Ürgüp Damsa Village Taşhur Pasha Mosque nish (XIIth century), Siirt Ulu Mosque Nish (XIIth century), Merzifon Çelebi Sultan Medrese Gate (XVth century) are some of the important arts of the Museum.
The collection granted as gift by Besim Atalay, member of VIIth Period TBMM (Grand National Parliament).
There is a specialised library containing art works about Anatolian ethnography and folklore, art history.
I visited Etnography Museum on a Sunday. I was surprised that there were not many visitors, because it is a fine museum and it was a nice day to visit a museum.
Etnography Museum was built in the early days of the Turkish Republic. It contains several items to depict traditional life of Turkish People. At the entrance you see a scene from a Turkish wedding and inside there are sections about many other aspects of life such as Turkish Coffee culture, circumcission ceremony, the Turkish bath. In the museum you can also find examples of Turkish tiles, glasswork, carpets, copperwork etc.
The Museum is important in Turkish history because it was used as a temporary grave for Ataturk (the founder and the first president of Turkish Republic) between 1938-1953. The heads of states, the ambassadors and public had visited this place for 15 years to show their respect to Ataturk. After Anýtkabir (Ataturk’s masoleum) had completed, the cofin was taken from there and the building started to function as a museum again. At the moment, the innter court of the building where Ataturk’s temporary grave was put is preserved as a symbolic masoleum.
This museum is easily found as you go down the Ataturk Boulevard - the main route from Ulus to Yenisehir.
It houses a fine collection of Turkish folkloric artifacts as well as artifacts from Seljuk and Ottoman mosques.
It is open every day (8:30 - 12:30, 1:30 - 5:30), except for Mondays.
I like these museums, which there is one of in most large Turkish cities. The one in Ankara has recently been renovated and have a rather big collection of artefacts from the Ottoman period. There is a room for cloths and textiles, a room for metalwork, another with beautifully carved wooden doors etc.
It was quite difficult to find the museum, which is above Atatürk Bulvari, off Talat Pasa Bulvari. Walking up Talat Pasa Bulvari you shall turn right before the hospital. The way was not signed.
Entrance fee was 2 000 000 TL.