The Rahmi M Koc Museum, Turkey’s first and only industrial museum, has reopened after lockdown, meaning visitors can once again see classic cars, planes, and more. They can also take a trip down the Golden Horn on a restored fishing boat.

In its mission statement, the Rahmi M Koc Museum describes itself as a “private non-profit institution dedicated to the collecting, housing, researching, preserving and exhibiting of industrial and engineering objects..from all countries and periods up to the present day”.

The museum says it aims to use its collections and resources “to inform, inspire and delight the general public, to attract more visitors to museums as well as cultural activities in Turkey, and to support research into industrial history.”

Located in Haskoy, on the Golden Horn in Istanbul, this special place does indeed delight and inform. 

Boasting a breathtaking view of the city, the Rahmi M Koc Museum offers visitors a veritable chance of being up close and personal with old planes, classic cars, a submarine, and to enjoy a nostalgic train ride, a merry-go-round and more. (The submarine, the merry-go-round and the nostalgic train ride are closed at the moment due to precautions taken in light of the coronavirus).

Another option for visitors these days is a thirty-minute trip in a restored fishing boat called ‘Kont Ostrorog’. Due to social distancing measures, the boat’s capacity is limited to 10 visitors. The tours are held twice a day from Wednesday to Friday, and thrice a day at the weekends. There are no tours on Mondays and Tuesdays.

In this part of the museum, there are more than 90 classic cars on display, including a collection of Turkish cars.
In this part of the museum, there are more than 90 classic cars on display, including a collection of Turkish cars. (Rahmi M Koc Museum)

The Rahmi M Koc is the first and only industrial museum in Turkey that comprises more than 14,000 objects in its collection. The museum had been closed for three and a half months when the country was in lockdown, and recently reopened on June 30.

It hosts a rich library of objects and holds a mirror to industrial history: from a steam car dating back to 1898, to an Anadol, the first Turkish-manufactured car, as well as various models of steamships, to Sultan Abdulaziz’s royal railway coach, a transit telescope and the patented original model of the Edison telegraph.

The appeal does not end there: there is a nostalgic street with shops that seem to come straight out of the 19th century, as well as Erdem Cever’s exhibition, “Steamers: Time Witnesses”.

A copy of a 1966 Ford Anglia, known as the flying car in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, is on display at the museum.
A copy of a 1966 Ford Anglia, known as the flying car in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, is on display at the museum. (Rahmi M Koc Museum)

The museum has multiple awe-inspiring collections, including scientific instruments, rail transportation, maritime, aviation, communication instruments, road transportation, engineering, models and toys, and a section dedicated to the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The Rahmi M Koc Museum is a worthwhile excursion for children and adults alike, for which anyone should set aside at least a half day.

Entry fees are 28 TL ($4.08) for adults and 12 TL ($1.75) for students. The boat trips are 14 TL ($2.04) for adults and 10 TL ($1.46) for students.

The museum is spread out over 11,250 square metres of enclosed space, and a further 17,000 square metres outside. There is also a cafe and a restaurant on the site.

The nostalgic street where old shops are reimagined. It transports visitors back to the 19th century. There is a watchmaker, pharmacy, shoemaker, a toy store and more.
The nostalgic street where old shops are reimagined. It transports visitors back to the 19th century. There is a watchmaker, pharmacy, shoemaker, a toy store and more. (Rahmi M Koc Museum)
Source: TRT World