Museum of Turkish Jews


Housed in a building attached to the Neve Shalom synagogue near the Galata Tower, this museum was established in 2001 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Sephardic Jews in the Ottoman Empire. The imaginatively curated and chronologically arranged interactive collection comprises photographs, video, sound recordings and objects that document the history, language and culture of the Jewish people in Turkey. Visitors must have a passport to enter.

Fascinating objects in the museum's collection include an array of Jewish ceremonial regalia with Turkish Ottoman influence, including a 19th-century hanukkiah (menorah made just for Hanukkah) in the shape of a minaret. Other highlights include a section about the Ladino (aka Judeo-Espanyol) language that includes musical recordings.

The Neve Shalom synagogue was built in 1951. It is possible to order kosher food packages to collect from the museum (call one or two days ahead).