During the Ottoman Era, an observatory was set up in İstanbul in 1870. The first International Congress of Meteorology was held in Vienna in September 1873. At this Congress where a representative of the Ottoman Empire also participated, an establishment of a network of observatories in İzmir, Beyrut, Sinop, Selanik, Avlonia, Bursa and Trabzon provinces of the Ottoman Empire was decided upon, today's the Kandilli Observatory is left from the network. The Period in between 1873-1925, howewer, turned out to be an uproductive era for the Turkish Meteorological services.
Soon after the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the Goverment laid the foundation of the lnstute of Meteorology, which was called then "Rasadatı Cevriye Müessesesi". The lnstitution started its work in a building in Etlik and was headed by M. Rethly, a former chief of Division of The Budapest Observatory lnstitute, which had began operating in the middle of December 1925, worked mainly at Central Observatory in Ankara until 1928. Upon the resignation of M.Rethly on 30th December 1927, Ahmet Tevfik, a professor of Meteorology at the school of Agriculture was brought to the directorate. In the meantime several other institutions also established and operated observatories and stations in their own righs. On 11th February 1937, all these observatories and stations of measurement were brought together to work under the authority of the General Directorate of the State Meteorological services "Which was instituted at with the enactment of the law numbered 3127."
Today, the General Directorate of the State Meteorological Services serves the public in the historical building which functioned as the General Headquarters of the Turkish Army during the war of independence, with well over 1100 meteorological stations which are furnished with the most sophisticated equipment and devices.
The room Called "Atatürk Room", named after Atatürk who worked and mapped up the plans of war during the War of Independence, has been transformed to a museum, with its original stove, draperies and table.
There is also another museum in the same building in which a variety of meteorological equipment are exhibited. This museum is organised so as to display how meteorological instruments have changed with technological advancement. Some old meteorological records are also exhibited.