The Turkish poet and author Sunay Akin has an unusual passion -- collecting toys from around the world.
Over time, his collection grew so large that his house did not have enough room to hold it. The toys were looking for a new home.
So he did the only thing he could think of -- he opened a museum big enough to hold them all.
The idea of creating a museum took root after Akin visited a toy museum in Germany in 1990. And so, in 2005, he created the Istanbul Toy Museum, located in Goztepe on the Anatolian side of Istanbul.
It was the first major museum in Turkey dedicated to toys. Housed in a historic mansion belonging to Akin's family, the museum holds about 4,000 toys purchased from auctions and antique shops in over 40 countries over the course of 20 years.
The collection includes antique traditional Turkish toys as well as pieces reflecting the culture of various countries, including Germany, the U.S., France, Italy and Japan.Two life-size giraffes stand by the road at the front of the museum.
The museum appeals to all generations. Grandparents, parents and children enjoy telling each other about their childhoods and the toys they most enjoyed, almost as if the museum were a time machine.
The museum also, indirectly, opens a window on world history. An attempt to land on the moon is shown through space toys. Similarly, in another section of the museum, the industrial revolution toys is depicted in the language of toys.
But the museum's best-loved toy is one of the most recent acquisitions, a doll of Charlie Chaplin's tramp character, Belgin Akin, the museum's manager told The Anadolu Agency.
Akin bought the toy last year at an auction in the U.S. state of Texas.
Other toys in the museum include cars made of wire, cloth dolls made by children in various parts of Anatolia, tin toys made in Istanbul and heroes of the shadow theater from the period of Sultan Abdulhamit II.
"The oldest toy in the collection is a violin manufactured in France in 1800s," Akin said. A doll manufactured in the U.S. in 1820, beads made in 1860, and 100-year-old German-made tin toys and porcelain dolls are among the older pieces in the collection.
Toys and toy books, donated to the museum by the actor and author Mujdat Gezen, who worked in a toy shop as a child, are exhibited in a separate showcase.
The Istanbul Toy Museum has been a model for the other toy museums in Turkey. In 2011, the Antalya Toy Museum, and in 2013, the Gaziantep Play and Toy Museum opened their doors under Akin's curation.
13-year-old boy succumbs to his wounds suffered in attack on outdoor wedding in southeast
60 Kurdish Regional Government security personnel seriously wounded in the fight against ISIL being treated in Turkey
Mehmet Simsek's comments come after Moody's decision to lower Turkey's credit rating from Baa3 to Ba1
Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies president says 2017 summit to be declared during weekend gathering in Malaysia
One other soldier wounded in anti-terror operations against PKK in southeastern Diyarbakir province
Turkey's largest business group assures German partners on economic stability in country after July 15 coup attempt
Turkish president blames Assad regime for UN aid convoy attack Monday
Police detain 20 more suspects working at Istanbul Anadolu Courthouse as part of probe into Fetullah Terrorist Organization
More steady rate cuts would be beneficial and an 'important signal to investors,' says Turkey's president
1,512 properties sold to foreigners with approximately 26 percent purchased in Istanbul, TurkStat reports
An unconfirmed number of people are injured in the rush-hour accident
His death comes following clash with PKK extremists in Hakkari province 3 weeks ago
Turkey expects US to temporarily arrest terror leader, Justice Minister Bozdag says
No casualties reported after rocket lands near primary school in Kilis province
‘Some countries abstained from condemning coup attempt,’ Emine Erdogan says
Overnight lending rate gets cut by 25 points to 8.25 percent; overnight borrowing rate remains unchanged at 7.25 percent