The first scientific research and application center in Turkey established for researching and examining Sultan Abdülhamid II and his era, Yıldız Technical University's Sultan Abdülhamid II Application and Research Center continues to reach out by looking at the world through Yıldız Palace Photography Collection.
A sultan gaining more attention recently, Abdülhamid II's photography collection will be exhibited in the U.K., after France and Germany. The book "British-Ottoman Relations through the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection" will be launched at London Book Fair, which runs from April 10 to April 12.
The project was implemented under the sponsorship of the presidency of the Republic of Turkey and examines the political, social, cultural and economic relations of the last days of the Ottoman Empire through the photography collection of Abdülhamid II.
Implemented in order to promote and introduce Ottoman history to different cultures and show different ways of interacting, the photography collection, which is not only important for Turkey, but also for the world as global cultural heritage, and related exhibition pieces, will be visiting the U.K. after France and Germany.
"British-Ottoman Relations through the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection," published in both Turkish and English will be presented at the London Book Fair. Another new book, "American-Ottoman Relations through the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection" will also be released at the fair for the first time.
'Through Ottoman Eyes' to premiere
Another part of the project is a unique gem of 911 albums and 36,585 photographs telling the story of the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection. The documentary, "Through Ottoman Eyes," will have its international premiere. After the premiere at the London Yunus Emre Institute on April 12, at the Cultural Heritage panel, professors İlber Ortaylı and Vahdettin Engin will comment on Abdülhamid II's time and the British-Ottoman relations through the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection.
Photographs from 38 countries
Professor Melek Özyetgin, the manager of the Sultan Abdülhamid II Application and Research Center, Explained it was important to Abdülhamid II to follow the world to meet future targets. She added that the valuable photographs in the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection today are one of the indicators and strongest examples of this. The collection includes rare works in terms of visual history of the sultan's and offers a glimpse into at the empire from a wide perspective with photographs from 38 different countries. "The Yıldız Palace Photography Collection is not just cultural heritage with unmatched importance for our country, but also for the world. Cultural works of art are one of the most important elements of our common civilization and, therefore, we try to introduce this collection at international platforms," Özyetgin said. She added that the collection was one of the two nominees UNESCO Turkey National Commission submitted for the UNESCO Memory of the World List for 2018 and 2019.
Project initiated in France and then on to Germany
Explaining that these albums shine a light on the progress of industry, technology, science, culture and arts in the Ottoman Empire, Özyetgin said that "Looking at the World through the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection" was first displayed in France, then at Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, and then at Turkish Embassy in Berlin. "Now, with our book, 'British-Ottoman Relations through the Yıldız Palace Photography Collection,' we are opening an interesting window to British-Ottoman relations, which date back to the 16th century," she said.