Ottoman manuscripts on show in Croatia

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Turkish cultural institute is holding exhibition of over two thousand manuscripts from the Ottoman Empire.

A Turkish cultural institute is holding exhibition of over two thousand manuscripts from the Ottoman Empire.

ZAGREB, Croatia - A sixteenth century Persian manuscript detailing the life of Turko-Mongol ruler Tamerlane and a copy of the Muslim holy book of Quran in Persian from the fifteenth century are the two of the highlights of an exhibition of manuscripts from the Islamic world on show in at the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts in Zagreb.

Organised by representatives from the Yunus Emre Institute and the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts in Zagreb, the exhibition opened Monday and will run till May 31.

The over two thousand manuscripts are from the Ottoman Turkey and were collections stored for centuries in family libraries in various Balkan countries; mainly Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia, said Tatiana Paicvukic, an oriental history scholar in charge of the manuscripts at the Croatian Academy. They have been in Croatian Academy archives since 1927.

"The exhibition shows the intellectual diversity of the Islamic world between the 13th and 19th Centuries. There is high poetry in the Persian language and manuscripts on astrology and religious sciences in Arabic and Ottoman Turkish," says Paicvukic.

There are manuscripts containing sayings of the Prophet Mohammed. 

Many of the manuscripts have beautiful and intricate miniatures that are worth seeing, especially the manuscripts of life of Tamerlane which show hunting scenes and other six scenes from his life, adds Paicvukic.

There are also examples of poetry from 13th-Century Turkish poet Yunus Emre.

Founded in 2009, the Yunus Emre Institute promotes Turkish language, culture, arts and history in 30 cultural centres around the world, most of them in Balkans and the North Africa.

Although they have no offices as yet in Zagreb, the institute announced during the opening of the manuscript exhibition that they hope to inaugurate their Croatian office soon.

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