The Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir’s Aviation Park is offering visitors a chance to peruse planes that have been used by the Turkish aviation industry through the years. The museum-park has been reopened following extensive renovations.
Redeveloped with a better layout to provide more information and activities, a museum laying out the history of Turkish aviation has recently reopened in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.
“We have added some [new features] to the park and organized informative signboards to inform about the planes,” said Professor Meral Nalçakan, the director of Aviation Park at Anadolu University, which reopened the museum following renovations earlier this month. “We will also open a children’s atelier when it is finished. We have a simulator for children here. We want to tell the history of Turkish aviation here.”
The museum, dubbed the Havacılık Parkı ve Tayyare Müzesi in Turkish, exhibits Turkish planes through the decades, ultimately presenting Turkish Air Force planes to visitors.
The park was opened as a de facto museum 15 years ago but was turned over by the local Tepebaşı Municipality to Eskişehir’s Anadolu University in September 2011 before reopening on Oct. 6.
Nalçakan said there were concerns about safety at the museum when the university first assumed control, leading school authorities to close the facility to conduct infrastructural repairs.
Despite reopening, the park is still undergoing some renovation work, the director said, adding that Turkey’s first plane oil tanker and two education planes had recently been brought to the location.
The director said their goal was to make the park a contemporary museum. “Besides this park, there are aviation museums in Istanbul and Ankara. The whole infrastructure has been redesigned and renewed for the project but work will continue. While the aviation sector is developing, I believe that this place will be one of the most beautiful parks, cultural and arts centers in Eskişehir.”
Nalçakan said the majority of the park’s collection included planes that had finished their mission for the Air Force and that instead of displaying all planes, they merely wished to exhibit aircraft that were worthy of going on show.
She said they also planned to organize aviation events in the park, adding that they were working on a Museums City project to reflect the identity of both the city and the university.
Eskişehir, city of aviation
Modern-day Eskişehir is one of Turkey’s foremost industrial cities. The Central Anatolian city expanded with the building of railway workshops in 1894 for work on the Berlin-Baghdad Railway.
Also, the first civil aviation enterprise in Turkish republican history started chartered flights between Ankara and Istanbul via Eskişehir in 1933.