The Pera Museum in Istanbul is a wonder. Nestled up the hill from the Galata Tower in Beyoğlu, it has a reputation for excellent art exhibitions and a few floors of rock solid local history on display. No wonder they call it a museum...
The Valdes Exhibition was three floors of marvellous (thank you Tony Greig) painting and sculpture art works.
Part of the permanent display is the area dedicated to Osman Hamdi. He is the man responsible for the establishment of the Archeological Museum and the creation of laws which protected the archeological assets of Turkey.
Osman Hamdi Bey (1842 – 24 February 1910) was an Ottoman statesman, intellectual, art expert and also a prominent and pioneering Turkish painter. He was also an accomplished archaeologist, and is considered as the pioneer of the museum curator's profession in Turkey.
His 1906 painting, "The Tortoise Trainer", broke a record in Turkey by being sold for the amount of 3.5 million dollars in December 2004. The painting expresses a sarcastic innuendo on the painter's own view of his style of work compared to those of his collaborators and apprentices, and is also a reference to the historical fact of tortoises having been employed for illuminative and decorative purposes, by placing candles on the shell, in evening outings during the Tulip Era in the early 18th century. The painting was acquired by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation and is currently on display at the Pera Museum in İstanbul, which was established by this foundation.
The Galata Tower in Beyoğlu across the bridge from Sultanahmet affords a 360 degree view across the port area burbs.