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ArtIstanbul Feshane

Feshane, Eyüp, 34050 Istanbul

Daily 10–20, closed Monday

Feshane is now extraordinarily easy to get to. There is a direct tram from Eminönü, and there are regular city ferries (to Eyıüp İskelesi, 5 min walk). Easily reached from the E-5 or Tem motorways, there is also a spacious municipal carpark.

The Golden Horn, favourite strolling ground of the immortal John Freely and friends, is again one of Istanbul’s best kept secrets. And here’s a place to gladden the soul. The Feshane, or Feshâne-i Âmire to give it its historic name, was the Sublime Porte’s official fez factory, opening in 1839, after the dress reforms of the Tanzimat abolished the turban and replaced it with the very modern iconical cone. After its initial restoration, the huge space (54,000 square metres, according to Google Maps) was used as a fair site from 1992 to 2018 (although intentions to make it an art space were there at the beginning – it hosted the first Istanbul Biennial in 1993, reviewed Cornucopia. It has been transformed into a world-class arts centre by the imaginative minds advising the current municipality, complete with a superb art bookshop, a proper arts library (it even has Cornucopia), courteous café, and fabulous location, all with an easy stroll of seriously good architectural sites.

We like everything about it. The vibe, the guards, the graphics, the lighting, and the astonishing space. It reopened after restoration on 22 June, 2023. The library was full of serious studyers, but it was sad to see so few visitors are visiting the shows. Put the word about. (entry dated June 1, 2024)

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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