The country’s wealth and depth of history guarrantee that Turkey has lots of artifacts for its museums even if there has been a problem with other countries shipping the booty off to foreign lands. The best and biggest museums are in Istanbul , where you can spend your days hopping from one fascinating exhibit to the other. The sprawling Archaeology Museum, near Topkapı Palace, holds finds from digs throughout the Middle East. Nearby is the excellent Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, housed in an old Ottoman palace, which displays carpets, ceramics , paintings, and folk art. For a taste of something more up-to-date, visit the stylish Istanbul Modern, which has a good collection of modern Turkish art and stunning waterfront location. Also worth visiting is the Rahmi M Koç Industrial Museum, an old factory that is now used to display a quirky collection of cars, trains, ships, airplanes, and other industrial artifacts that will pique the interests of children and adults.
Istanbul doesn’t have a monopoly on the museum business, though. The Gaziantep Museum, in Turkey’s southeast, is one of country’s best, with a world-class collection of Roman-era-mosaics. Ankara’s Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, found in a restored 15th century covered market, holds masterpieces spanning thousands of years of local history. Konya, in central Turkey, is home to the fascinating Mevlana Museum, dedicated to the the founder of whirling dervish lodge. The unusual Museum of Underwater Archaeology, in a 15th century castle in Bodrum on the Aegean coast, displays booty found in local shipwrecks.