Hg2 : The Hedonist

Atatürk Museum

It’s impossible to understand modern Turkey without understanding the remarkable Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. As a brilliant young general, he soundly defeated the Allies at Gallipoli and then rose up against the Greeks who occupied parts of Turkey after its defeat in World War I and booted them out. The last Sultan soon followed them, with a one-way train ticket on the Orient Express. In 1923, Turkey became a secular republic and Mustafa Kemal adopted the name Atatürk ‘Father of the Turks’ and the presidency. Still more remarkable is that in seeking to reverse the decline of the late Ottoman period and in his attempt to build a modern secular industrial state, Atatürk re-forged an entire culture. He changed the language, exorcising the Arabic script, altered habits and costumes, and banned the word Constantinople and the seemingly innocuous fez among other things, and in doing so practically re-invented the Turkish identity. Atatürk’s honorific title was well-deserved. He died in 1938, but Turkey is still enamoured with his image and memory. The museum is a short taxi ride away from Taksim Square and houses three floors of Atatürk memorabilia including, wonderfully, his underpants. While not the world’s best museum, it’s a good place to go to and think – and get to grips the legacy of the man.

Halaskargazi Caddesi 250,
+90 212 240 6319
Opening Times
9am-4pm. Closed Sundays and Thursdays.
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