Congress Held in Budapest
On 3 September 2007, the 13th International Congress of Turkish Art opened at the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. More than 200 researchers registered; they were joined by some thirty Hungarian undergraduate students engaged in the field. Especially welcome were two scholars present at the 1st ICTA held in Ankara in 1959: Professor Oktay Aslanapa and Professor Ernst Grube. A third participant at the last-mentioned meeting, Halûk Karamagarali, was represented by his daughter, Associate Professor Nakis Karamagarali.
This was the second gathering of the Congress in Budapest: the 5th ICTA met here in 1975, also in the Hungarian National Museum.
Abstracts were called for in April 2006. After adjudication of the 240 that were submitted, 123 presentations were invited jointly by the International Organising Committee, chaired by ICTA President Professor François Déroche, and the Turkish National Committee, chaired by Professor Zeren Tanindi. In the end, 101 were given. They were delivered in two sections, held in the Museum's Ceremonial Hall and its Lapidarium respectively.
The Congress, which lasted until 8 September, had three principal themes: 1) Turkish Art in Europe up to the 20th Century, 2) Auxiliary Sciences and 3) Military Architecture. "Interactions", a sub-theme of the first of these, was especially popular, attracting twenty-six presentations (most of which dealt with architecture and architectural ceramics). "Modern Turkish Art and Architecture", a second sub-theme, also found favour with eighteen presentations. One in three presentations discussed not the classical period of Ottoman art but rather the 18th-, 19th- and 20th centuries. In fact, architectural history was most favoured topic in the Congress as a whole, attracting more presentations than any other. Next came manuscripts, miniatures and albums, followed by ceramics. With respect to its three principal subject-areas, the 13th ICTA resembled its predecessors. As at previous meetings, metalwork, woodwork and glassware were only minimally represented among the papers delivered. Slightly more popular than the last mentioned were textiles and carpets. This came as a surprise. Altogether sixteen presentations dealt in some way with Hungarian-Turkish connections, not just in earlier times but also in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The majority of the presentations exhibited an interdisciplinary approach. Examples were those that reported on co-operation between archaeologists and historians and between researchers and restoration specialists.
Among those addressing the Congress were ten young researchers awarded grants by the Fondation Max van Berchem. More than twenty scholars, who needed to be below 35 years of age, applied for these scholarships, of whom the following went on to receive them: Hatice Adiigüzel ("The Use of Tiles in the Hungarian and Turkish Art Nouveau Styles"), Nourane Ben Azzouna ("Manuscripts Attributed to Yaqut al-Musta'simi in Ottoman Collections"), V. Gül Cephanecigil ("Presenting Turkish Architecture to Europe: Resid Saffet [Atabinen] and "Les caracteristiques de l'architecture turque"), Tülün Degirmenci ("Medhi's Illustrated Turkish Sehnames in European Collections"), Niculina Dinu ("Kutahya Faience from the 16th-17th Centuries Discovered in Ottoman Braila"), Maximilian Hartmuth ("Historiographical Problems Concerning Post-classical Art and Architecture in the Ottoman Balkan Provinces"), Barbara Karl ("Cultural Transfers: Objects from the Ottoman Empire in the Collections of the Medici Grand Dukes of Tuscany"), Thomas Lorain ("Les fortifications médiévales du sud-est de la Turquie (XIe-XIIIe sècles"), Feyza Özgündogdu ("Studying Form and Decoration. Characteristics of Ceramics from the Ottoman Period in Hungary"), and Bahadir Öztürk ("The Trade in Carpets Between the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain: Anatolian and English Carpets" [with Elvan Anmaç]). As Professor Zeren Tanindi remarked in her closing address, "the 13th ICTA has served to introduce several young scholars from different countries to the art history world. In fact, young and promising scholars with fresh ideas will promote research into Turkish art history.
The Congress was accompanied by two exhibitions: "Garden Blown by the Wind". Turkish Faience in Hungary' at the Budapest History Museum and "Ottoman-Turkish Carpets from the Collection of the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts - in Memory of Ferenc Batári' at the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. On 8 September, 2007, there was an all-day excursion to see the impressive Ottoman monuments in the city of Pécs, in south-west Hungary.
Secretary of the Hungarian Organising Committee