The first and only kite museum in Turkey, which is located in Istanbul, takes visitors on a journey through the 2,500-year-old wonderful history of kites and offers a unique experience based on these colorful toys.
Since 1977, May 18 is celebrated as International Museum Day. The day raises awareness that "museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples," according to the International Council of Museums. On eve of this special day, let’s explore the exclusive Istanbul Kite Museum, one of the most ideal places for a cultural trip in Turkey.
Founded by Mehmet Naci Aköz, the president of the Istanbul Kite Fliers Association, the museum is one of 18 kite museums around the world. While Canada, China, Malaysia, India, the United States and the United Kingdom are among the countries home to a kite museum, Japan houses five of them.
Having a great interest in kites since his childhood, Aköz followed his passion for these flying frames and founded the museum in 2005 with his own collection. Aköz explained that kites always provide him with excitement, happiness and hope. His love of kites led him to organize the first kite competition in Turkey, and he has also given lectures about kites in high schools and universities, as well as flown kites in dozens of countries around the world from America to Asia.
"Our museum is a living museum," Aköz said, adding that it houses a very beautiful and interesting collection of about 3,000 pieces collected from six continents and 39 countries. The collection, which he started in 1986, includes kites, publications, materials and various objects, and continues to grow year by year.
Along with enjoying this remarkable collection, visitors can also make and fly their own kites in the museum. Moreover, there are guides who provide information about the history of the kites through various visuals and videos.
The museum is also structured similar to a kite cultural center and houses a kite school where 200 students can simultaneously make their kites in workshops, and an international kite library, the first of its kind globally, according to Aköz.
Noting that visitors of all ages come to their museum and give very positive feedback, Aköz said that he wants to move the museum, which currently has a capacity of 200 people, to a much larger place to display the kite collection more easily and host more people at the same time.
He said his daughter will continue to operate the museum after him. "I hope my little daughter, who spent all her childhood and youth with kites, will continue the museum. After graduating from university, she started to work as the director of the museum," he said.
The museum continues its activities within the framework of the Child-Friendly Museum Initiative launched by the Culture and Tourism Ministry in 2008 and Education with Museum projects, which have been carried out by the Istanbul National Education Directorate since 2011.
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