Heybeliada - Museum of İsmet İnönü

The mansion at #73 Refah Şehitleri Caddesi, originally known as the Mavromatakis Köşkü, is now open as a museum belonging to the Inönü Foundation, which is operated by the family of Ismet Inönü, first Turkish Prime Minister and later President of the Turkish Republic. Ismet Inönü, known as Ismet Paşa, first rented the house as a summer home in 1924, when he recuperated there after an illness. The Inönüs bought the house in 1934 for 9,500 liras, with new furniture presented to them as a gift by Atatürk. In September 1937, after leaving political office, Ismet Paşa settled into the house, where later that same year he was visited by the newly appointed Prime Minister Celal Bayar. During the years 1938-50, when he served as President of the Turkish Republic, Ismet Paşa stayed in the official summer residences at Florya and Yalova, because of the number of officials who made up his entourage, while his wife, Mevhibe Hanım, preferred to spend most of the summers in the house on Heybeli with their children, Ömer, Erdal, and Özden. During the years 1950-60, when Ismet Paşa was the leader of the opposition party, he spent most of the summers with his family on Heybeliada, where in his daily excursions to the beach he was accompanied by many of the townspeople, with the younger ones joining him as he jumped into the sea feet first from the pier. During his next term as Prime Minister, 1961-65, he still went to Heybeliada whenever his schedule allowed, and after leaving office he again spent his summers there. After his death in Ankara on 25 December 1973, at the age of eighty-nine, the house on Heybeli remained closed for a few years, but later Mevhibe Hanım occasionally returned along with her son Erdal and his wife, Sevinç, who had spent her summers in a neighboring house. Eventually the family decided to have the house preserved as a museum under the Inönü Foundation, restored just as it was when Ismet Paşa moved there in 1937, with the furniture presented to him by Atatürk. Here the visitor can see a variety of objects, pictures, and personal mementos of Ismet Paşa’s public and family life.

Bookmark and Share
You are here: Home