10th Anniversary

At the beginning of 1990, the idea of the commemoration of the Centre's Tenth Anniversary took shape during the discussions at Executive Committee meetings under the Director General's chairmanship. As possible dates were being considered, an excellent opportunity presented itself: two important OIC meetings would take place in Istanbul on October 1990. Firstly the Sixth Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC), and secondly, the First OIC Ministerial Meeting on Technical Cooperation. Both meetings would convene under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Turkey, with the participation of ministers and senior officials of the Member States. This period would be most suitable for IRCICA's commemoration ceremony as it could be included in the COMCEC program.

When the Director General disclosed this proposal to the President of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Mr. Turgut Ozal expressed his pleasure and agreed to give his patronage to IRCICA's celebrations.

Thus, the ceremony was held on the premises of the Centre at Yildiz Palace, on 10 October 1990, under the patronage and in the presence of President Ozal, with the participation of: H.E. Mr. Yildirim Akbulut, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey; H.E. Dr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference; ministers and heads of delegations and diplomatic missions of the Member States; the Governor of Istanbul H. E. Mr. Nevzat Ayaz, as well as high officials, presidents of universities, members of the Governing Board of IRCICA, representatives of the mass media from various countries and other guests.

The commemoration ceremony began at the Centre's conference hall in Cit Qasr, with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. IRCICA Director General gave the welcome speech, expressing his gratitude to the high-level national and international audience for the privilege and honour given by their presence to IRCICA on one of the most auspicious days in its history. Dr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary General of the OIC gave an address, saying that IRCICA as the first cultural institution established by the OIC had achieved remarkable progress and it had promising future prospects.

The Secretary General expressed his thanks and gratitude to the Republic of Turkey for the support and assistance given to the Centre since its inception. Mr. Yildirim Akbulut, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, made a speech emphasising the role of IRCICA and similar institutions in strengthening solidarity among the Muslim countries and increasing their relations with other countries in different fields of cooperation. The Prime Minister invited the Muslim world to continue their assistance to the Centre in its activities.

President Ozal made the inaugural address of the Tenth Anniversary celebrations and commended the progress achieved by the Centre and its accomplishments. He thanked the Member States and the Secretary General of the OIC for their support and encouragement which had greatly contributed to the Centre's success. He confirmed the readiness of the host country to continue to provide all necessary moral and material support to the Centre in order to render its activities even more effective.

A plaque of gratitude was presented to the President of the Republic of Turkey, jointly by Secretary General Dr. Hamid Algabid and Director General Prof. Ihsanoglu, in recognition of his patronage and support of the Centre's activities.

This was followed by the presentation of a plaque to Prime Minister Mr. Yildirim Akbulut, in appreciation of the unfailing support and assistance extended by the Turkish Government. IRCICA Director General also presented a plaque of gratitude to Dr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary General of OIC, in appreciation of the valuable assistance, collaboration and guidance provided by the Centre's parent organisation. Receiving the plaque, the Secretary General reiterated the OIC's appreciation of the accomplishments of IRCICA in the first decade of its activities. He commended the achievements of the Centre and presented a plaque to the Director General, in recognition of the efforts he and his staff had made to ensure the Centre's success.

A twenty-minute documentary film about IRCICA and its activities titled "IRCICA, Ten Years", was shown to the audience. The film, produced with the contributions of Turkiye newspaper, gave an overview of the research projects, publications, and other activities, providing a full recapitulation of the first decade of activities.

Message of H.E. Dr. Ahmad Ismet Abdulmaguid, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arab Republic of Egypt, to IRCICA on its Tenth Anniversary: "... I believe the message of the Centre is significant and necessary in a world boiling with material and ideological changes that did not reach an equilibrium point yet. In the midst of these developments, the message of the Centre will be an assurance that Islam represents faith, thought and practice to remain fresh and alive forever. The task undertaken by the Centre to create bridges of understanding and a civilisational relationship between Muslims and other peoples is fundamental and complementary to the political role of the OIC. ..."

Message of H.R.H. Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Chairman of the International Commission for the Preservation of Islamic Cultural Heritage (ICPICH) on the occasion of IRCICA's Tenth Anniversary: "... Today, after ten years, we see that IRCICA has advanced confidently toward the realisation of its objectives, participated in the process of conducting studies and research work into culture and civilisation. ... IRCICA is now a meeting place for scholars and researchers from Islamic countries and from abroad. On this occasion, I would also like to express my appreciation to IRCICA as the Executive Secretariat of ICPICH. ..."

After the film was shown, the guests were invited to the Art Gallery of Yildiz Palace where the President of the Republic of Turkey inaugurated an exhibition of illustrations about the different activities of the Centre, and comprising historical photographs which were selected from the Yildiz Photograph Albums, as well as calligraphic plates and photographs which had won awards in the competitions organised by the Centre in its capacity as the Executive Secretariat of the International Commission for the Preservation of the Islamic Cultural Heritage (ICPICH).

A separate corner was devoted to "Calligraphy from Master to Student", a display of works produced by three generations of master/student calligraphers; namely master Hamid Al-Amidi (Aytac), his student Hasan Celebi and Celebi's student Mohammed Zakariya, a Muslim American calligrapher who received a diploma (ijaza) from his master Hasan Celebi at a ceremony organised by IRCICA on this occasion. The exhibition was opened to visitors for the duration of two weeks.

President Ozal hosted a luncheon for the 10th anniversary of IRCICA at the Silahhane building in Yildiz Palace.

In the evening of 10 October, another meeting was held at the Centre's premises, in the presence of H.E. Dr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary General of OIC. The meeting was officiated by H.E. Mr. Ilhan Akuzum, Minister of Tourism and Acting Minister of Culture of the Republic of Turkey. The purpose was to bring together the OIC and IRCICA families with all the "friends" of the Centre whose support, interest and assistance in different ways and forms, had contributed to the development of the Centre in the past ten years. The IRCICA awards for Excellence in Research, instituted by IRCICA to express the recognition of scholars who contributed to the advancement of scholarship in the fields of Islamic history, art, and culture, were presented on this occasion for the first time. The following personalities received their awards: Prof. Dr. Annemarie Schimmel, professor of Indo-Muslim culture, for her contributions to the history of Islamic culture, mysticism and literature and in promoting these fields as subject areas of scholarly study in the Western academic circles; Prof. Dr. Stanford Shaw for his outstanding works on the history of the Middle East, a great part of which are based on the Ottoman Archives; Prof. Dr. Oktay Aslanapa for his contributions to teaching and authorship in the fields of Islamic arts and architecture; and to Prof. Dr. Roshdi Rashed, Director at the "Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique", Paris, in appreciation of his contributions to the history of science in Islam. Prof. Dr. Muhammed Hamidullah, famous scholar in Islamic studies, culture and civilisation (from India, based in Paris); Hakim Mohammed Said, President of Hamdard Foundation and Founder-President of "Madinat Al-Hikmat", Karachi, Pakistan; Prof. Dr. Izzet Hassan, professor of Arabic literature at the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, Rabat, Morocco, were unable to attend the ceremony and their awards were forwarded.

Director General of IRCICA gave an address at this meeting to reiterate his gratitude to the Republic of Turkey and all the other Member States and their cultural and academic institutions, the press and information agencies, and to the international organisations and numerous personalities of the Muslim world who extended their moral, financial, material, technical and further assistance to the Centre, as well as to the members of IRCICA Governing Board, whose valuable guidance had always been of great benefit to the Centre's progress. The Director General informed the audience of the establishment of the Foundation for Research in Islamic History, Art and Culture (ISAR) to support IRCICA's research projects and activities.

Certificates of gratitude were presented to the previous and current members of the IRCICA Governing Board. The following members were present: Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Al-Sharif (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Chairman of the Governing Board); Dr. Afif Bahnassi (Syria, outgoing Chairman of the Board); Dr. Abdullah Hasan Masry (Saudi Arabia); Prof. Ahmad M. Issa (Egypt, Vice-Chairman); Raja Fuziah Bte. Raja Tun Uda (Malaysia); Prof. Dr. Ihsan Dogramaci (Turkey); Dr. M. Ahmed Sharif (Iraq), and Ambassador Dr. Omar Jah (The Gambia). Certificates of appreciation were also presented to Ambassador Mohammed Mohsin, Assistant Secretary General of OIC for Cultural and Social Affairs, and Dr. M. Saleh Gazdar, Director of the Liaison and Coordination Bureau of H.R.H. Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of ICPICH. The meeting continued with the presentation of plaques and certificates of appreciation to a number of institutions and personalities who contributed, in various ways, to the activities of the Centre. These include the restoration of its premises and the acquisition of its computer equipment, and its general work, among others. Previous staff members of the Centre also received certificates.

High-level personalities who received plaques of appreciation for their support and assistance to the Centre were H.R.H. Crown Prince Hasan Bin Talal, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; H.E. Mr. Namik Kemal Zeybek, Minister of Culture of Turkey; H.E. Mr. Abdul Aziz Khoja, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Turkey; Prof. Dr. Cem'i Demiroglu, President of Istanbul University; H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah; H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Chairman, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, London; Ambassador Aydan Karahan, Head of COMCEC Coordination Office, Ankara; Mr. Ihsan Salha, Palestine; Mr. Zaidan Al-Sagheer, Consul General of Lebanon and Dean of the Consular Corps in Istanbul; Prof. Dr. Yahya Karsligil, Vice-President of Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul. The following deans of faculties, scholars and personalities were also presented with certificates of appreciation: Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, Dean of the Faculty of Letters, Istanbul University; Prof. Dr. Salih Tug, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Marmara University, Istanbul; Prof. Dr. Hakki Dursun Yildiz, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Letters, Marmara University, Istanbul; scholar and calligrapher Prof. Dr. Nihat Cetin; Prof. Dr. Erdogan Mercil, Dr. Hulya Tezcan, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ipsirli, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Saray, Prof. Dr. Ahmed Edip Uysal, Dr. Machiel Kiel (author of the book titled Ottoman Architecture in Albania published by IRCICA), Mr. Erol Ozbilgen, Director, Regional Department of Foundations of Istanbul, Dr. Mohammed Aslam (former staff member of IRCICA); Mr. Ismet Binark (ex-staff member of IRCICA); Mr. Hasan Duman, ex-Director General of Libraries and Publications, Ministry of Culture of Turkey; Dr. Atilla Bir (author of the book titled A Modern Mechanical Analysis of Kitab Al-Hiyal by Banu Musa published by IRCICA); Mr. Necati Aktas (compiler of the book Ottoman Archives published by IRCICA); the late Dr. Unsal Yucel (compiler of the catalogue of Islamic Swords and Swordsmiths published by IRCICA); Mrs. Nezahat N. Ege (donor of a book collection to IRCICA Library); Mr. Mehmet Taysi, Director of Millet Library, Istanbul; Mr. Timur Bammate (brother of the late Prof. Necmeddin Bammate, donor of a library collection to IRCICA); art collector Mr. Nuri Arlasez; Mr. Ugur Derman (art and calligraphy adviser, IRCICA); and photographer Mr. Selamet Taskin.

The following personalities received certificates in appreciation for their contribution to the Centre's activities or to the restoration of its premises: Dr. Enver Oren, President of the Turkiye newspaper, Istanbul; Mr. Aydin Bolak, philanthropist and member of ISAR Foundation Board of Trustees; Mr. Faraj Shallouf, former Director of the Arab-Turkish Bank, Istanbul; Mr. Sezai Turkes, entrepreneur, Mr. Sarik Tara entrepreneur, Architect Mr. Nevzat Ilhan, supervisor of Cit Qasr restoration project (1983); Architect Dr. Aydin Yuksel, supervisor of Yaveran Qasr restoration (1986); Architects Asaf Cakir and Erdogan Tolga, Yaveran Qasr restoration architects.

The Centre also presented certificates of appreciation to several institutions to express its appreciation for their cooperation. Among them were the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco; the Academy of Sciences of Azarbaijan; the Academy of Arabic Language, Cairo; the Aga Khan Award for Architecture; Arab Academy, Damascus; the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), Tunis; Archives and Manuscripts Centre, University of Jordan, Amman; Al-Assad Library, Damascus; Ataturk Library, Istanbul; Beyazit State Library, Istanbul; "Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Ottomanes et Morisques, de Documentation et d'Information" (CEROMDI), Tunis; The Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi; "Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka" (DBP), Kuala Lumpur; Hungarian Academy of Sciences; "Instituto de Cooperacion con el Mundo Arabe", Madrid; Institute of Arab Research and Studies, Cairo; Iraqi Academy, Baghdad; King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Libyan Studies Centre for Historical Studies, Tripoli; Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, London; the Religious Foundation of Turkey; Royal Academy for Islamic Civilisation Research (Al-Albait Foundation), Amman; OIC Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre of Islamic Countries (SESRTCIC), Ankara; The Suleymaniye Library, Istanbul; Turkish Historical Society; Turkish-Islamic Art Museum, Istanbul; Topkapi Palace Museum and Library, Istanbul; and the Directorate General of Yildiz Palace.

Furthermore, representatives of the press from Turkey and other countries were presented with certificates in appreciation of their interest in IRCICA's activities and their contribution in introducing the Centre world-wide. With friendly talks on memories of the past ten years, this meeting was a gathering of IRCICA's "larger family".

Following are the impressions of the President and the Prime Minister of Turkey written in IRCICA Visitors' Book:

"I wish the successful work of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture continues in future. I invite all concerned parties to further increase the interest that is being given to our culture, arts and history."
Turgut Ozal, President of the Republic of Turkey (Original: Turkish)

"I was very pleased to attend the ceremonies held at the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture and to see the exhibition which reflects the results of the Centre's work. The activities of the Centre are praiseworthy; by enhancing cooperation among the Muslim countries, they get to know each other better and highlight and promote their culture and arts. I wish success to the Centre."
Yildirim Akbulut, Prime Minister (Original: Turkish)

Medals for ten years of service at IRCICA
IRCICA's Executive Committee decided to present medals to staff members who completed ten years of service at IRCICA. All the staff gathered in the conference hall at Cit Qasr on 15 November 1991 for this occasion. Director General Prof. Dr. Ihsanoglu said that ten years had elapsed since the Centre's establishment, and those who received medals were the first to have joined the Centre and they deserved special recognition for the services they rendered at the initial stages.

The following staff members received medals: Dr. Hidayet Yavuz Nuhoglu, Deputy Director General; Mr. Ahmed Lajimi, Head of the Cabinet, Planning and Public Affairs; Mr. Erol Ocalir, Head of the Finance and Administration Department; Mr. Halit Eren, Head of Library and Documentation; Mrs. Dilek Orbay, Executive Secretary; Mr. Acar Tanlak, Head of Common Facilities; Mrs. Sulbiye Sadawi, Secretary; Mr. Sitki Dag, driver; Mr. Bahattin Kosgen, head of service personnel; Mr. Recep Yavuz, assistant head, service personnel; Mr. Saban Karaaslan, night watchman; Mr. Sevket Gurel, night watchman.

On the same occasion, a poem, dedicated to Prof. Ihsanoglu by Dr. Nejat Sefercioglu, research expert, and reproduced on a plate by calligrapher Hasan Celebi, was presented to the Director General by the staff. The poem lauds his services to learning; which are assigned to him as a gift of God and stresses that in this path the Centre grew from a seed into a plane-tree.

The last couplet gives the date of the establishmet of the Centre in a writing that a value of the letters of the word "ragbet" equals 1980.