The inclusion of the Selimiye Mosque on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 encouraged the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism to increase the budget for tourist attractions in for Edirne. One of the most important initiatives was the reopening of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art (tr. Türk İslam Eserleri Müzesi) in 2012, after a long and thorough renovation.
The museum was created in 1925 and was first restored in 1971. Museum collections consist mainly of locally-acquired objects but were also enriched with items handed down by the Ethnographic Museum of Ankara and by the Topkapı Palace of Istanbul.
The venue is housed in Dar-ül Hadis Madrasa which is a part of the Selimiye Mosque Complex. There are 14 exhibition halls, where ceramics, glass items, tiles, furniture, and Ottoman weapons are displayed. In the museum collections, there are also stone inscriptions from the Ottoman period buildings that have not survived the passage of time and the modernisation of the city. In addition, the museum has several handwritten copies of the Koran and fabrics embroidered in a traditional way. In total there are more than 10 thousand exhibits.
A large and richly embroidered satin tent, which served as an official room for settling state issues during the war campaigns is one of the biggest attractions of the museum. Several mannequins demonstrate various traditional activities, including carpet weaving. There is also an interesting room for circumcision, which includes a mannequin depicting a scared little boy. Workshops of a shoemaker, a saddle manufacturer, and a carpenter have also been recreated.
The Wrestlers Room is devoted to the Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling Festival. It collects the photographs of the champion wrestlers. There is also a mannequin depicting a wrestler. Another room represents a dervish lodge and displays the objects collected after closing the dervish lodges in the early Republic period. There are hand-written calligraphies on the walls, and two-wing doors from Sultan Bayezid II Mosque Complex, made with kündekari technique. This technique involves fixing small geometric pieces of wood together with grooves. Two halls are prepared to demonstrate wooden objects made with the Edirnekari technique that applies painted motives and compositions to materials such as wood, carton, and leather.
A special room is devoted to woven woolen socks, collected from different regions of Turkey. Two separate halls are dedicated to weaponry. There are Ottoman rifles from the 17th and the 18th century, armours, helmets, cavalry swords, battle-axes, shields, mittens, arrows, and daggers. Janissary clothes are presented on mannequins. Another room presents the history of the Balkan Wars, and the exhibits include a bloody flag and photos of commander Şükrü Pasha.
The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Edirne is open daily except for Mondays, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission to the museum costs 5 TL.