ISTANBUL, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's biggest Istanbul Airport inaugurated its first museum on Friday, aiming at transforming the terminal into a cultural hub, the airport management said at a press release.
"We want Istanbul Airport to become a center where culture and art meet," Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of the airport, was quoted as saying in the release.
In Samsunlu's view, airports hold an essential place in the minds of people as they are the first stop before discovering new destinations.
"With this mindset, we are continuing our efforts to transform the time spent at the airport into a unique travel experience," he said.
"We aim to make our passengers get rid of travel stress by shifting their focus onto art and culture, and thus enjoy a nice and memorable travel experience," Samsunlu added.
The first exhibition of the Istanbul Airport Museum, "Treasures of Turkey: Faces of the Throne," displays more than 300 pieces collected from prominent museums of the country.
The collection contains several highly valuable artifacts, including the Treaty of Kadesh, the first known peace treaty in history, several kaftans that belonged to Ottoman Sultans, and some other Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman-era pieces.
The museum, built on more than an area of 1,000 square meters, also offers introductory information about 18 sites in Turkey, which were listed as the World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Additionally, it has several interactive playgrounds that will make children explore and acquaint themselves with the most precious artifacts of the Turkish culture.
On June 11, Turkey partially resumed international flights, which had been suspended for nearly two months over the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest data, 7,068 aircraft operating both in domestic and international lines landed and took off from Istanbul Airport in June, carrying a total of 604,662 passengers.
Istanbul Airport served 64 million passengers over the last year after it became operational in April 2019. Enditem