Ottoman Bank Museum

Permanent Collection

Salt Galata

Ottoman Bank Museum (OBM) spreads throughout the floors of SALT Galata—the bank’s head office building between 1892 and 1999. To learn more, click here.

The Ottoman Bank Museum, located within SALT Galata, is the first museum to be founded by a private bank in Turkey. It became active in 2002 as part of the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Centre. Organized in and around the bank vaults of the building that served as the Ottoman Bank Headquarters after 1892, the museum sheds light on the history of the Ottoman Bank, formerly the central bank and treasurer of the Ottoman Empire.

The objects and documents in the collection of the Ottoman Bank Museum, as well as the design of the museum itself, reflect the little-known world of the late-Ottoman and early-Republican periods, in which the bank played a central role. The museum chronologically highlights the significant changes, developments and crises experienced over an 80-year period—from the Ottoman Bank’s founding until 1933, when it gained private bank status. Particular focus is given to the branch buildings, customers and areas of activity of the same period.

Every item at the Ottoman Bank Museum can be studied within the context of the politics, economy, society and even the daily life of its era. The Ottoman Bank Museum not only narrates the story of an institution, but also offers a representation of life during this period. The archives and the museum’s conceptual framework were developed by Edhem Eldem; their design was conceived by Bülent Erkmen. The design and exhibition of display units was conceived and realized by Yeşim Bakırküre and Ypsilon.