The 1001 Inventions exhibition is based at Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square for a total of 7 weeks, until the 5th of October 2010 and is situated between the iconic Hagia Sophia Museum and the majestic Blue Mosque. The city is the European Capital of Culture for 2010 and is attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists throughout the year, who will enjoy its historic and modern attractions. However, the overwhelming success of a British exhibition has taken the Municipality and locals by surprise. The previous most popular attraction was the Hagia Sophia, which receives up to 40,000 visitors per week.
The 1001 Inventions exhibition recently completed its record breaking residency at the Science Museum in London where it received more than 400,000 visitors. During the London run its most high-profile “tourist” was the Turkish Prime Minister himself, on his state visit to the United Kingdom in March 2010, who invited 1001 Inventions to Turkey. Istanbul becomes the first venue of the exhibition’s five-year international tour which will relocate to New York City in November 2010.
The exhibition is an interactive journey of discovery through the history of Muslim civilisation and uncovers the underappreciated scientific and cultural heritage from the Middle Ages that paved the way for the European Renaissance. The 1001 Inventions project is an initiative of the British-based Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) and at the opening ceremony Prime Minister Erdoğan expressed his gratitude to FSTC and the sponsor ALJ Community Initiatives for bringing this ground-breaking touring exhibition to his nation’s historic capital. Many of the facts highlighted within the 1001 Inventions exhibition, manufactured entirely in the United Kingdom, have a special resonance with the history of Turkey and the Ottoman period.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Professor Salim TS Al-Hassani, Chairman of FSTC, thanked the Turkish Prime Minister for his support in bringing the exhibition to Turkey. He also explained how the project was enriched by heritage from the Turkish region. “Our gallery showcases dozens of exhibits from the history of Muslim civilisation which included the Turkish region. For example, our visitors will discover that Turkey is responsible for giving the world immunisation, suction pumps, rocket powered flight and the oldest surviving detailed map of the Americas. The Turkish region was also home to engineering geniuses like Al-Jazari and Taqi al-Din, whose machines and mechanisms are key in plants and agricultural industries and master architects like Sinan whose influence can be seen throughout the capitals of Europe.”
He continued: “Our aim is to improve mainstream understanding of Muslim contribution to arts, science, technology and the development of modern civilisation and this interactive exhibition does this by bringing to a wider audience eye-opening facts and astounding stories that impact upon us in today’s modern word”. Some of these include:
• The world’s first rocket powered flight, carried out by Lagari Hasan Celebi, who soared above Istanbul’s Bosphorus strait in the 17th century.
• A five-metre high recreation of the ‘Elephant Clock’ produced in the 13th century by master engineer Al-Jazari in what is now southern Turkey.
• The story of inoculation and immunization, a concept imported from Turkey.
• How the architecture of landmark buildings across Europe was inspired by architects like Sinan of Turkey.
• Reproduction of the pistons-crank systems and suction pumps used by engineering pioneers like Taqi Al-Din and Al-Jazari.
• Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi, the first person to successfully fly between two continents in a glider.
• Şerefeddin Sabuncuoğlu, who invented numerous surgical instruments and wrote one of the first illustrated handbooks on surgery.
• How Ottoman administrators made important advances in the field of town planning.
• Spa treatments developed in Turkish Hammams which are now widely practiced around the world.
• How the Turkish language inspired many English words (like “Yogurt”, “Crimson” and “Kiosk”).
The 1001 Inventions exhibition runs from 18th August 2010 until the 5th October 2010 at the Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul, Turkey. Further information about the exhibition is available at the official website www.1001inventions.com and the Turkish-language website www.1001icat.com which was created especially for the exhibition’s opening in Istanbul.
About 1001 Inventions
1001 Inventions is a global educational initiative that promotes awareness of a thousand years of scientific and cultural achievements from Muslim civilisation from the 7th century onwards, and how those contributions helped build the foundations of our modern world.
The 1001 Inventions global touring exhibition and the educational products that accompany the exhibition all highlight the scientific and technological achievements made by men and women, of different faiths and cultures that lived in Muslim civilisation.
Launched in the United Kingdom in March 2006, 1001 Inventions was created by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), a British based non-profit, non-religious and academic organization. Working with leading academics from around the world, FSTC engages with the public through educational media in order to highlight the shared cultural and technological inheritance of humanity, in order to improve social cohesion.
About Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation
The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) is an international educational entity established to popularise, disseminate and promote an accurate account of Muslim Heritage and its contribution to present day science, technology and civilisation. As well as developing and maintaining MuslimHeritage.com, FSTC has produced publications, conferences and teacher training seminars on the subject. FSTC is creator of the world renowned 1001 Inventions initiative which educates a global audience about the scientific and cultural contribution made by Muslim Civilisation during the Middle Ages.
FSTC promotes an accurate understanding of the thousand years of exceptional advances in science, technology and the arts made by men and women in Muslim civilisation, from the 7th century onwards, which is not well known to the public. FSTC works with educators to ensure Muslim heritage is accurately and fairly represented within history and science curricula to facilitate understanding and appreciation of the historic contributions towards the development of contemporary science and technology worldwide.
FSTC is an entirely non-religious and non-political educational body which hopes to inspire young people from both Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds to find career role models in science and engineering. At the same time, it hopes to promote cross cultural dialogue through the research and promotion of the Muslim World’s contribution towards building the foundations of Modern Civilisation. FSTC is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Manchester, England.