• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

  • Polish-Ottoman Relations
    During The 15th And 19th Centuries

    Text was drawen from the Turkish edtion of "Newspot"
    Prime Minister General Directorate of Information

    In 1999 the Istanbul Turkish and Islamic Works of Art Museum hosted the exhibition entitled "War and Peace: Ottoman-Polish Relations in the 15th-19th Centuries" as part of the commemoration of the 700th Foundation Anniversary of the founding of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman works of art were displayed at the exhibition.

    This exhibition was planned within the framework of the Polish-Turkish Cultural Agreement signed in 1994, during a visit to Turkey by the Polish President.
    These works of art which were in Polish Collections were from the 15th century to the 19th century. They have a special meaning since Turkey is celebrating the 700th anniversary of the foundation of the Ottoman Empire.

    Certainly, the most interesting part of the exhibition is the spoils, left to Poland by the Ottomans following the second Vienna expedition and preserved in Polish museums, archives and libraries.

    At the exhibition, various articles belonging to the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha of Merzifon and other high ranking commanders which were shared among the various monarchies, princedoms and dukedoms participating in the crusade to save Vienna attracted great interest, among which a portrait of the Grand Vizier from the Vienna History Museum can be cited. The greatest amount of booty was taken back to Poland by the commander of this army, John Sobieski, who helped in winning this victory.

    The Ottoman works of art in Poland are giant embroidered tents, rugs and clothes, swords, helmets, shields and all sorts of military equipment decorated with precious stones, harnesses, silver and gold items, Korans and various manuscripts. In addition to these are various articles transferred to the State and Church treasures, museums, archives and libraries such as official samples of writing and royal decrees.

    Among the works of art displayed at the exhibition were:

    The garb of the Ottoman cavalry, which are displayed on mannequins on horse,and infantry uniforms, shields, swords, helmets, flags, bows, arrows and quivers,
    textiles, including carpets, pillows and embroideries,
    manuscripts, decrees of the Sultan, and Korans,
    maps, plans and engravings,
    portraits among which we can cite those of Sultan Mustafa I, Sultan Osman II, Sultan Mehmet IV, Sultan Murad III, Sultan Mehmed III, Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, and Princess Mihrimah.
    paintings of receptions given by the Sultan,
    paintings and documents concerning the siege of Vienna,
    paintings of Varna, Estergon, Kamanitza, Karlowitz
    Large paintings of the Battle of Khotin,
    reports written by Ottoman Ambassadors regarding their official observations, and experiences as of 1414
    Some letters among which there is one written by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in Serbian, in 1456 and Princess Mihrimah's letter sent to King Sigismund August. All of them bear great historical significance.
    The original of the Karlowitz Peace agreement signed by Mehmet Rami Efendi who is considered by present-day historians as having been an astute politician and tough negotiatior, the sketches made by Sultan Abdulaziz who took painting lessons from Chlebowski, samples of books and exchanges of letters bearing witness to diplomatic relations, manuscripts, engravings and paintings on the subject of the Khotin and Vienna expeditions in 19th century and Polish art, are among the pieces which attracted great interest in the exhibition.

    With the display of 382 great works of art compiled from 26 museums, archives, churches and libraries in Poland, some unknown documents, works of art. and facts about Ottoman history have been revealed.

    With the exception of a few, these pieces which have been housed in various museums, archives and libraries throughout Poland were not on display and were not the subject of international scholastic efforts.

    The most important aspect of the exhibition is that, these masterpieces which attest to turning points in Ottoman history have returned home in 1999 on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, albeit for a brief period.


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