A municipal official told the Hurriyet Daily News the municipality does not have the money to purchase the waterside property selling for $6.3 million and turn it into a museum.
Professor Afife Batur, an expert on historical architecture at the Istanbul Technical University, said restoring the home and turning it into a museum would not only add value to the city, but also create a popular tourist destination.
"It would add to the value of our city to restore the house where such an important personality spent time and turn it into a museum," he told the newspaper.
He said the house located on Buyukada, the largest of the Princes' Islands off Istanbul's coast, would probably only survive for another 10 years if left in its current state.
Halim Bulutoglu, director of the Island Foundation, said several attempts were made in the past to secure funds to refurbish the building and turn it into a museum.
Trotsky's first stop in exile was Turkey, where he lived for four years. The house on the island survived a fire in the 1930s and was never restored, Hurriyet said.