“It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world occasionally swapped history books, just to see what the other people are doing with the same set of facts.”
Bill Vaughan, American writer
Perhaps one of the most intriguing museums in the Dokuma Park complex is the Martyr Museum, found just next to the Science Center. The fact that an entire museum was created to tell the story of men and women who have lost their lives in service to the Ottoman Empire, and then, the Republic of Turkey, is significant. A walk through the Martyr Museum was a fascinating glimpse into Turkish culture and the collective ideals it holds sacred. It was also a good reminder that history can be subjective and always has more than one side that should be considered.
What does it offer?
Small in size and jam-packed with memorabilia, recreated battle scenes, and information, the Martyr Museum is a glimpse into Anatolian history from a unique perspective. It is organized by date and tells the story of the thousands of men and women who have lost their lives to preserve this land from foes. From the conquering of Constantinople in 1453 to the coup attempt of 2016 and everything in between, the museum covers it all. There is even a tribute to the men and women from Antalya who have lost their lives in recent years.
Elaborate real-life looking displays and abundant photographs add emotion and connection to the people lost. Graphic pictures are scattered throughout the museum. These sometimes bloody shots do not shy away from the devastation of those lost to terrorism, invasion, or battle, young and old.
As a foreigner looking in from the outside, it was incredibly insightful to experience the magnitude of patriotism and nationalism contained in one space.
- Because of the graphic nature of the museum, we do not recommend taking children under the age of 10 inside the Martyr Museum. It might be possible to shield them from the pictures, but young children would not enjoy most of the museum, anyway.
- All of the signs and information are in Turkish, so keep that in mind. However, the gravity of the museum can be felt whether you can read Turkish or not. If you are a history person or just someone who wants to understand Turkish politics and culture more, we recommend visiting.
- Entrance is free and it won’t take you more than 20-30 minutes to walk around the museum.
- It is nicely air-conditioned just like the other buildings at Dokuma Park.
- Be sure to check out all of the other things Dokuma Park has to offer: the Science Center, the Car Museum, the Open Air Museum, the Anatolian Toy Museum, the Forest Library, the Children’s Train Library, the Cemil Meriç Library, or the Modern Art Gallery.
You can easily find Dokuma Park by personal car between Erasta Mall and Özdilek Mall. A large parking lot on the west side gives you easy entrance to the park. If you enter on the west side, follow the signs for the Antalya Bilim Merkezi. The Martyr Museum is just outside the atrium of the Science Center.
If you want to take public transportation, the Fatih-Expo or Havalamanı tram goes right by the east side of the park. Get off at the Dokuma stop and follow the signs once you enter the park.
Address: Fabrikalar Mahallesi, Namık Kemal Blv. 07090 Kepez/Antalya
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 8:30am – 6:00pm