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Materialization of Turkish History Thesis

The Exhibition of 1937 Congress of Turkish Historical Society

April 11, 2023
6 pm (Istanbul time)
Registration is required.

ANAMED Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, İstiklal Caddesi No. 181, Merkez Han, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

The “Exhibition of Turkish History” was organized in parallel to the Second Congress of Turkish History held on September 20-26, 1937, by the Turkish Historical Society (Türk Tarih Kurumu) at Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. The exhibition was planned to accompany and materialize the papers of the congress where different aspects of the Turkish History Thesis were to be shared with an international audience for the first time. Developed in early 1930’s, the Turkish History Thesis regarded all cultures of Anatolia from prehistory to Republic of Turkey as of Turkish origin (albeit in varying degrees). Thus, the displays at Dolmabahçe Palace encompassed various archaeological and historical cultural layers from Anatolia and its surrounding regions. Beginning with human evolution and continuing in chronological sequences of different cultures (Sumerian, Egyptian, Hittite, Minoan, Etruscan, Uyghur, Avar, Seljuk, Mamluk, Ottoman etc.), the exhibition ended with displays on the young republic’s achievements. In total, the exhibition contained more than 600 objects that were supported by photographs, artefact copies, models, and maps. This talk aims to present an overview of the exhibition’s contents with brief comments on the era’s perceptions of history and archaeology.

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