Islamic Civilisation Outside the Member States

The political, cultural and socio-economic situation of Muslim communities and minorities living outside the Member States have kept the attention of the Organisation of Islamic Conference and IRCICA from the beginning of their respective dates of establishment. IRCICA’s mandate allows it to cover a wide range of issues related to these communities, to make studies and undertake activities that would raise awareness in world-wide public opinion. While carrying out these activities, IRCICA established relations, and in many cases, fruitful cooperation, with the relevant authorities, universities and research institutions representing these communities.


Ottoman Architecture in Albania by the Dutch scholar Dr. Machiel Kiel was published by IRCICA in 1990. This book is an extensive survey of the numerous Islamic monuments found in Albania. It examines the characteristics of the monuments, which represent the Ottoman architectural heritage in the region, the circumstances under which they were built, the functions they served, and their present state.

A book entitled The Advent of Islam in Korea, the PhD thesis of Korean researcher Prof. Dr. Jamil Lee Hee Soo, was published by IRCICA in 1997. The author obtained his PhD at Istanbul University, with a scholarship arranged by IRCICA.

His thesis was first published in Turkish (1989) and was translated into English by the author upon IRCICA’s request. One of the chapters deals with the commercial and cultural relations between the Islamic world on one hand and China and Korea on the other through the Maritime Silk Road. Another one focuses on Korean-Islamic relations through the Oasis Silk Road between the 13th-16th centuries and discusses the Islamic cultural and scientific influences upon Korea. Still another chapter is devoted to socio-economic activities of the Turkic Muslim community which was formed in Korea in the 1920s by the Turks who had emigrated from the USSR.

Turkish-Islamic Educational Establishments in Bulgaria and the "Medresetu’n-Nuvvab" (School of Religious Studies), prepared by IRCICA and published in 1993 by the Foundation for Research on Islamic History, Art and Culture (ISAR). The book reviews the recent history of education of the Muslim community in Bulgaria, with an emphasis on the School of Religious Studies which was active from 1922 to 1947. The authors, Hasim Erturk and Rasim Eminoglu, both graduates of this school, give information on the activities, the curricula and the graduates of the school on the basis of an original document kept at the office of the Chief Mufti in Sofia. The other parts of the book contain information on the Muslim population of Bulgaria, its religious, cultural and social institutions, Muftis’ offices, various schools and their teaching programs, cultural and educational transformations enforced after the adoption of the socialist regime.

The papers of the international symposium on Islamic Civilisation in the Balkans, subsequently revised by their authors, were published in two separate volumes: one for those in Turkish and another for those in English and Bulgarian: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in the Balkans.

The papers which were presented at the International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Volga-Ural Region, held in Kazan, Tatarstan (9-11 June 2001) were published under the title: Proceedings of the International Symposium on “Islamic Civilisation in Volga-Ural Region” (Kazan, 8-11 June 2001). The papers are published in the language in which they were presented, i.e. English, Russian and Turkish, with a summary in English of all the papers.

Seminar, Symposium

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences and IRCICA jointly organised a seminar on Manuscripts in Islamic Languages in Eastern Europe and the USSR (Balaton-Almadi, Hungary, May 1990). The meeting laid the bases of cooperation between university departments and cultural institutions which are engaged in the study of manuscripts found in collections of the said regions.

The Centre participated in study visits, missions, scholarly meetings and other activities in various countries of the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

An international symposium on Islamic Civilisation in the Balkans took place on 21-23 April 2000 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The symposium was organised jointly by the following institutions: IRCICA (Istanbul); the Institute of Higher Islamic Studies (Sofia); the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Sofia); the Center for Oriental Languages and Cultures of Sofia University; the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library (Sofia); ISAR Foundation (Istanbul), and the International Centre for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations (IMIR, Sofia).

Another International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Volga-Ural Region under the patronage of H.E. Mintimer Shaimiev, President of Tatarstan, organised by IRCICA, the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences (Kazan), the State University of Kazan, the Oriental Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), the Union of Orientalists of the Russian Federation (St. Petersburg), the Foundation for Research on Islamic History, Art and Culture (Istanbul), in Kazan (Tatarstan), 8-11 June 2001.

Second international symposium on Islamic Civilisation in the Balkans organised by IRCICA and the Academy of Sciences of Albania, the General Directorate of Archives (Albania), the University of Tirana, and İSAR Foundation, was held in Tirana, Albania, 4-7 December 2003.

Second International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Volga-Ural Region was held under the patronage of H.E. Mintimer Shaimiev, President of the Republic of Tatarstan organised by IRCICA in Kazan, Tatarstan, 24-26 June 2005.


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