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"Aladdin's Lamp: Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad and the Art of the Anatolian Seljuks Age"
2001-10-03 until 2001-12-28
Yapi Kredi Cultural Center
Istanbul, , TR Turkey

During a period in the Anatolian Middle Ages, with which are not very well known, a new people moved from the East to Asia Minor; and a new state flourished around its capital Konya. For two centuries, this state constituted one of the most important cultural leaps on these lands. The Anatolian Seljuk State that initially seemed to be an extension of the Great Seljuk State of Iran, acquired autonomy quickly; and despite its relatively short life-span, brought together elements of Middle Asian, Persian, Arabian, Byzantine, Armenian and Turkmen cultures, in the grandest synthesis in the history of Anatolian civilizations, and irreversibly annexed the peninsula to the Turkish geography.

This was a golden area that began to shine suddenly on the complex administrative and cultural map of the 12th century Anatolia. It was as if someone had rubbed a magic lamp; and on the steppes that had grown weary under numerous raids and wars, cities, palaces and magnificent city walls were built; and with extensive caravan routes, caravanserais, temples, hospitals, a fresh breath of prosperity and civilization was blown unto the peninsula.

The brightest and the most interesting period of this era was the very short time between 1220-1237 when Sultan I: Alaeddin Keykubad reigned. This 'Seljuk Century of Bliss' sandwiched between the Crusades and the Mongol invasion, lasted approximately 100 years; and left a mark grander than the Ottomans would leave in 500 years of rule.

In the exhibition prepared jointly by the Yapi Kredi Cultural Activities, Arts and Publishing and the General Directorate of Monuments and Museums of the Ministry of Culture, the Anatolian Seljuks that left unalterable marks on the Anatolian geography with palaces, caravanserais, medreses and mosques, are examined on the axis of this luminous Sultan I. Alaeddin Keykubad period.

Aladdin’s Lamp exhibition aims to read once again this interesting period of the Anatolian cultural history with a new perspective, in the wake of a symbolic portrait of Alaeddin Keykubad.

With pieces from the Konya Karatay Çini Eserler Müzesi, Konya I'nce Minareli Medrese Tas¸ Eserler Müzesi, Konya Mevlana Müzesi, Adana Arkeoloji Müzesi, Istanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri, Topkapi Sarayi Müzesi, Vehbi Koç Vakfi Sadberk Hanim Müzesi and the private collections of Kaya Turgut, Ferit Edgü, Mehmet Ürgüplü, Özlem and Haluk Perk, over 150 Seljuk works are exhibited. The scientific advisor for the exhibition has been Prof. Dr. Baha Tanman, the architectural design is by Ahmet Özgüner and the graphic design, by Ersu Pekin.

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