VEHBİ KOÇ FOUNDATION SADBERK HANIM MUSEUM
Vehbi Koç Foundations Sadberk Hanım Museum is Turkeys first private museum intended to exhibit the private collection of Sadberk Koç, the wife of Vehbi Koç. The Museum was opened on 14 October 1980 at a building called the Azaryan Mansion in Sarıyer-Büyükdere.
Azaryan Mansion was built at the end of the 19th century and was purchased by Koç family in 1950. It was used as the familys summer retreat until they decided to convert the building into a museum in 1978. Between 1978-80, the building was subjected to a restoration project by Sedat Hakkı Eldem and was converted into a museum.
The museum's collection initially consisted of the private collection of Sadberk Koç, which included traditional costumes, embroidery, silver artefacts with "tuğra" and porcelain and suchlike artefacts, and in due course was augmented with donations and purchases. Following the demise of Hüseyin Kocabaş, one of the greatest collectors of Turkey, his collection was also added to the Sadberk Hanım Museums Collection. In 1983, Vehbi Koç Foundation has decided to purchase the neighbouring mansion that is believed to have been built around the beginning of the 20th century to accommodate the Hüseyin Kocabaş Collection and the mansions facade was restored in the original form. The mansions restoration project was prepared by Architect Ibrahim Yalçın and on 24 October 1988 the mansion building was opened to public as the annex and it was named "Sevgi Gönül Building". In 1988, the building was chosen as an example for contemporary museums for its exhibition layout and it was honoured with the Europa Nostra Award.
Whilst at the time of its foundation Sadberk Hanım Museum contained 3.000 pieces, at present, the inventory reached more than 18.000 pieces of artefacts in its collection. Archaeological relics belonging to Anatolian civilisation from 6th millennium B.C. till the end of the Byzantines are being housed in the Sevgi Gönül Building. Islamic artefacts with Ottoman emphasise, European, Far Eastern and Near Eastern artefacts that were produced for the Ottomans, woven textiles from the Ottoman era, garments and embroideries are being exhibited in the Azaryan Building.