Dutch visitors are invited to learn the stories of 10 inspirational women shedding light on the history of successive civilizations that flourished in Anatolia
The Netherlands's eastern Enschede city discloses the inspiring lives of Anatolian women from successive civilizations with an exclusive collection displayed at the TwentseWelle Museum for the first time. The exhibition "Kadınlar: Goddesses-Harem-Power" showcases a wide range of religious and cultural artefacts dating from the period of classical antiquity to the early Republican era. Dutch visitors take a journey through the historic land of Anatolia while getting more familiar with the stories of these 10 women - Cybele, the Great Mother of Gods; Artemis, the Goddess of Fertility; the Virgin Mary; Byzantine empress Theodora; Saltukid female ruler Melike Mama Hatun; Ottoman poet Mihri Hatun; composer Dilhayat Kalfa; Kösem Sultan, the wife of Sultan Ahmed I; influential author Halide Edip Adıvar and archaeologist Halet Çambel. While wandering around the exhibition venue, you might find yourself at the time of the Turkish Independence War with Halide Edip or discover the intriguing harem life with Kösem Sultan, a prominent figure of the Sultanate of Women in the Ottoman Empire. Visitors can also go back to the years of the Anatolian beyliks while reading about Mama Hatun. Alternatively, it might be a chance to treat yourself by learning some classical Turkish music with Dilhayat Kalfa, whose works are still celebrated today.
Utensils, musical instruments, icons, miniatures, textile items, jewelry and paintings are all concrete evidence of Anatolia's sheer wealth inherited from the Phrygian and Lydian Kingdoms, the Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. A 4-meter high statue of the Mother Goddess is placed in the museum square.
The museum also introduces video portraits of contemporary Turkish women from sports, culture, business and science scenes. They talk about their lives, works and sources of inspiration. A number of side events also take place throughout the event with Turkish actors and journalists.
Witnessing nearly 3,000 years of Anatolian history, the exhibition "Kadınlar" ("Women" in English) gathers 180 pieces of art on loan from 11 Turkish museums including the Topkapı Palace Museum, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, the Pera Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations along with certain European museums in Venice, Berlin and Athens. Certain cultural institutions in Enschede contribute to the exhibition with their own activities like Concordia which holds an exhibition of contemporary Turkish art. Additionally, a selection of films by Turkish directors will be screened and a family opera is scheduled to take place at the Netherlandse Reisopera. The cultural program includes music and dance events for children and a Turkish festival.
Having opened its doors on March 15 with the participation of Dutch Ambassador Ron Keller and Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands Sadık Arslan, the exhibition will run until Aug. 16. The exhibition is organized by Dutch author and journalist Henk Boom and his wife Lotje de Lussanet, the artist and curator of the museum.