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Cinili Köşk

Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Gülhane Park, Istanbul

The Pavilion is in the grounds of the Archealological Museums and can be visited with the same ticket. The museums are a short but steepish climb from the Gülhane tram, and an even shorter walk down from the outer courtyard of the Topkapı.

What a transformation. The Çinili Köşkü was a dull and dusty extra in the Archaeological Museums cast, but a bit of love and attention has made it one of its jewels. The delightfully airy Tiled Kiosk was one of three pavilions built for Mehmet the Conqueror in 1472 representing three completely different styles. This one was constructed by builders from Karaman, a newly conquered Turcoman principality, who had never lost their affinity with Timurid Bukhara. In the late 19th century it housed the Imperial Museum, but it is now part of the surrounding Archaeological Museums. It has some 2,000 items in its collection, though understandably only a hand-picked few are on show. But many of them are jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the natural light quite mesmerising. Pieces date from between the 11th and 18th centuries, with fine Iznik and Seljuk examples as well as ceramics from Kütahya and Çanakkale

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Issue 59, June 2019 Behind Closed Doors
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