Istanbul Travel Guide

Jewish Museum of Turkey

  • The museum is located in Karaköy

  • A visit to The Turkish Jewish Museum shows that there are more similarities between Turkish and Jewish traditions

  • Zülfaris Synagogue has been turned into museum

In Istanbul some of the empty synagogues have been turned into museums. Such as Zülfaris Synagogue. It is the most beautiful one. The Museum is called the Jewish Museum of Turkey as it was established by the Quincentennial Foundation in by 113 Turkish citizens, Jews and Muslims alike, to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of Sephardic Jews’ arrival from Spain to Istanbul.

The Karay Jews
The museum is located in Karaköy. The word is the combination of “Kara” and “köy”. “Kara” probably originates in the Turkish word Karay, referring to a Turkic-speaking Jewish community called the Crimean Karaites. In old days they were a majority of the people who lived in this district. The museum tells the stories of Turkey’s Jews.

The founder is Naim Güleryüz
Writer and historian Naim Güleryüz is the founder of the museum. In 1492 some 120,000 Jewish people were forced to leave Spain. Sultan Bayezid II, invited them  to settle in Istanbul. A visit to The Turksih Jewish Museum shows that there are more similarities between Turkish and Jewish traditions.Turkish Jewish Museum captures 700 years of amiable relations between Jews and Turks, beginning in 1326 with the Ottoman conquest of Bursa.

The building itself dates from the early 19th century. The Synagogue functioned as a place of worship for over a century, and was reopened as Jewish Museum of Turkey in 2001. The courtyard houses, a monument to Jewish soldiers killed while defending Turkey during various wars.

Useful Information for Jewish Museum of Turkey

Address Arap Cami Mah. Perçemli Sok. No: 1 Karaköy-Beyoglu
Visiting hours Mondays to Thursdays: 10:00 - 16:00 Friday: 10:00 - 14:00 Sunday: 10:00 - 14:00 We are closed on Saturdays and Religious Holidays.
Entrance fee 10 TL