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Distant Neighbour, Close Memories

600 years of Turkish-Polish relations

March 7, 2014 – June 15, 2014

Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Sakıp Sabancı Cad 42, Emirgan 34467 Istanbul


The Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s spring exhibition is a comprehensive look into the friendly diplomatic relations which have existed between Turkey and Poland for the last 600 years. The exhibition focuses on the memories that have been created between the two countries.

It all started in 1414 when Sultan Mehmed I signed a trade agreement with the Polish king at the time and the Ottoman Empire started sending textiles to Poalnd. From then on, the Ottoman Empire (mostly) supported Poland in matters of trade, war and diplomacy, however, there were a few ‘hiccups’ in their friendly relations including border disputes in the 16th century and the Second Siege of Vienna in the 17th century, when the Ottoman Empire went head-to-head with the Holy Roman Empire in league with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

This exhibition covers the period beginning the first half of the 15th century to the late 17th century, up until the time of the Second Siege Vienna. Historical developments in the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Poland materialise in documents, maps, paintings, personal possessions of eminent figures, trade goods, textiles, costumes and ceramics. Examples of weapons, an Ottoman tent and other artefacts abandoned after the army’s defeat at the Second Siege of Vienna, alongside objects that illustrate the border clashes and other stages leading up to the siege are also displayed. The items and magnificent works of art are on loan from 35 different museums (including the National Museum of Warsaw), churches, monasteries, castles (including the Wawel Royal Castle), libraries, archives and private collections.

As one of the most important events in the 600th anniversary celebrations, this exhibition is a must see. It will accompanied by a programme of extra events including film screenings, concerts, conference and lectures.



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