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Directly opposite the Blue Mosque, this museum – also known as the İbrahim Paşa Sarayı – was the residence of Süleyman the Magnificent’s grand vezir Ibrahim Pasha (Cornucopia 32). Its palatial pretension was one of the factors that led Süleyman to have Ibrahim Pasha executed in 1536. The building has been a dormitory for Topkapı functionaries, a military barracks and the country’s first Western-style prison. The vezir’s audience room acts as a display area for the museum’s wonderful Seljuk and Ottoman mosque carpets, some vast, some dating back to the thirteenth century. Many treasures, from manuscripts to pots, textiles to tiles, found their way into the collection when they were sent to the capital for safekeeping as the empire contracted. The ethnographic collection at courtyard level includes re-created interiors of nomads tents and living rooms, partly curated by Josephine Powell.
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