Ziraat Bank Museum is located in the Honor Hall of our General Directorate Building in Ulus district of Ankara. Our Museum, where we exhibit our long history as a bank that witnessed almost every stage of the Republic, is proud of being the first Banking Museum of its kind opened in Turkey.
Our Bank Museum, which contains important sources of information regarding the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic, was inaugurated on 20 November 1981 by Mr. Sadi Irmak, the President of the Consultative Assembly at the time. The Ziraat Bank Museum demonstrates the commercial, economic, political, cultural, artistic, and educational changes of the Turkish banking system from the beginning up to today as well as the progress made over the years from the past until today, and it exhibits, in a very unique historic atmosphere, several antique objects that possess the above features and that were once used in the banking system.
Among the precious articles displayed in this history corner of ours, which was the first one of its kind established in Turkish banking life, are our original “Homeland Fund" belonging to the year of 1863, which we can call is the first form, the core of our Bank; journals with a history of more than 100 years, gold purchase and sale registers that are not in use any longer today, records of the distribution and sale of “Quinine”, calculators and typewriters used at the Bank General Directorate and at its branches, crystal inkwell sets, old telephones, various gold and letter scales, guard control clocks, door plaques written in the Ottoman script, and examples of the medallions and brevets given / issued by various institutions and organizations to Our Bank.
The golden sickle and tray used at the inauguration ceremony of our General Directorate Building in 1929 and the examples of banknotes and coins employed during the Ottoman era and during early period of the Republic are among the invaluable articles that reflect the past, along with the "Drawing Device" used in the old times, the specimens of official bank stamps belonging to certain branches of Our Bank, and other significant documents such as 60-70 year-old communication copy books, samples of savings account books, examples of counterfoils of vouchers and receipts, checks written in the Ottoman script, till principal registers, and historical audit records and reports.
Valuable works of our Republican period artists are exhibited in our Museum, which also hosts original works of Turkish painting art reflecting the basic foundation purpose of our Bank. In addition, the works titled "HARMAN" [Threshing] (1928) by İbrahim Çallı and "GAZI MUSTAFA KEMAL ÇİFTÇİLER ARASINDA" [Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Among Farmers] (1929) by Namık İsmail, which were specially commissioned for our General Directorate Building, are among the most exceptional oil paintings in our collection and exhibited in the Museum.
Ziraat Bank Museum, can be visited free of charge every weekday, from 9:00 to 17:00 hours
Established in 1981 with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, our Museum enjoys a private museum status running its activities under the supervision of the Directorate of the War of Independence and Republic Museums. You can have access the photographs of several art works existing in the Museum via the following link of our Bank’s Facebook page.
/ Ziraat Bank Museum
History of our General Directorate Building
Our historic General Directorate Building, whose project was launched in 1925 and construction was completed in 1929, is the work of the Italian architect Guilo MONGERI and is among the structures of the First National Architectural Period. The architect, although being an Italian citizen, maintained Turkish national architectural style in our Building and took into account the needs that may arise in the future also when preparing the project. Born in Milan, Guilo Mongeri stayed many years in Turkey, and worked as an instructor in the Architecture Department of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts (Güzel Sanatlar Akademisi).
Guilo Mongeri prepared also the projects of large-scale buildings such as Karakoy Palas, Saint Antoine Church, Macka Palas, Italian Embassy (Higher Technician School) and Katırcıoğlu Han in Istanbul; İş Bank Ulus Branch and TEKEL (Monopoly) Headquarters in Ankara, and Celik Palas in Bursa.
Our General Directorate Building has a construction area of approximately 10,000 m2, and is comprised of a basement, ground floor, mezzanine, first, second and attic floors.
The contractor company who built the structure imported the cement and plaster supplies from Germany, and the timber and bricks needed for the wooden sections from Romania. The said bricks were grooved and stamped with Ottoman script. The marble used in the upholstery was supplied from the domestic sources.
Italian construction foremen directed by Master Architect Burhan Arif Ongun, who was a student of Guilo Mongeri from the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, were employed in the shell and core construction of the Building while Hungarian craftsmen under the direction of Master Architect Arif Hikmet Koyunoğlu were employed for the external plastering and painting works.
Artificial stone stucco of the facades was made by Italian Chief Foreman Salvatore Genovezi, and the plaster patterns on the ground floor in the Hall of Honor was prepared by the Architect Vahan Bey.
The drawing and painting with turquoise blue of the Seljuk motif decorations under the eaves was realized by Master Archaeologist Architect Mahmut Akok.
The wood joinery and carpentry works of the Building, which are much admired and considered as the art of superior craftsmanship, were carried out by Selahattin Refik (Sırmalı).
The land of our Building was taken over on 26 February 1926 whereupon the actual construction works commenced. Our Building was completed at the end of 1929 and was inaugurated with an official ceremony held on 26 November 1929, with the presence of the Prime Minister Ismet Inonu and the President Grand National Assembly, Kazim Ozalp Pasha.
Our General Directorate Building, which possesses distinct properties and aesthetic beauties such as spacious marble-lined hallways enriched by Seljuk and by the Ottoman decorative arts, high ceilings, arches, mirrors and crystal glass, colored stained glass and tile decorations, has become one of the magnificent buildings in Ankara.