The Outer

Rare photographs of Egypt at an event by the Turkish Cultural Center

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The Yunus Emre Institute in Cairo (the Turkish Cultural Center), in cooperation with the American University, held an event yesterday evening (Thursday) entitled “Egypt’s Albums in the Photo Collection of Sultan Abdul Hamid II,” on the occasion of the centenary of the Turkish Republic.

During the event in which the Turkish Ambassador Salih Mutlu Şan, and a number of representatives of Arab and foreign diplomatic missions participated, along with a group of Egyptian academics, the professor at Yildiz University and the director of the Sultan Abdul Hamid II Center for Studies and Applications, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Melek Özyetgin showed the photo albums that Sultan Abdul Hamid II collected and kept at his residence in Yildiz Palace, which include photographs of about 50 countries. Özyetgin highlighted the 20 albums related to Egypt, containing more than 800 photographs of Egypt in the nineteenth century AD.

Özetgin stressed the importance of these photos, which were taken by the most famous photographers of that era, because they display the historical, cultural, social and architectural aspects of Egypt, as well as showing the richness of the common Turkish-Egyptian heritage.

For his part, the director of the Yunus Emre Institute in Cairo, Amin Poyraz, gave a speech in which he pointed to the interest and love that the Egyptian and Turkish peoples show to each other, and said, “This interest is not born today or yesterday, but rather extends back to long centuries ago, and this interest is evident through the theme of the event.” Today, the Egypt albums are considered the largest in size and the most important among the Yildiz Palace photo collection.”

In a statement, Turkish Ambassador Salih Mutlu Şan said, “The Ottoman Sultans showed close interest and love for Egypt, which was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914. Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who was a lover of the art of photography and interested in Egypt and Egyptian civilization, collected one of the “The largest and most important collections in the history of world photography. This collection not only provides us with an objective idea of ​​Egypt’s civilization, nature, cities, life, architecture and people, but also sheds light on the historical and cultural ties between Turkey and Egypt and carries these ties to the present day.”

He added, “In light of our recently developed relations with Egypt, we will continue our activities aimed at remembering and defining the monuments of our common history and culture.”

As part of the event, an exhibition was opened containing selected photos from Egypt’s albums preserved in Yildiz Palace. The exhibition, held on the campus of the American University in Tahrir, will receive the public between 10 am and 6 pm until next January 2.

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