IRCICA is an international institution active in the fields of research, publishing, documentation and information. Its mandate covers multifarious themes in the fields of the history of Muslim nations, history of arts and sciences in Islam, and other subject areas in Islamic culture and civilisation. By means of these activities, IRCICA aims at studying and better introducing the Islamic culture and civilisation throughout the world and acting as a catalyst for research and cooperation in these areas to promote mutual understanding between Muslims and with other nations and cultures of the world.
IRCICA started its activities in 1980 as the first subsidiary organ of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) concerned with culture. The headquarters of IRCICA are located in the three buildings named Seyir Pavilion, Cit Qasr and Yaveran Building in the historical Yildiz Palace in Besiktas, Istanbul. These buildings were allocated to the Centre by the Government of the Republic of Turkey.
Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, was the Director General of IRCICA from 1980 to December 2004. Prof. İhsanoğlu was elected Secretary General of OIC by the 31st Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Istanbul, 14-16 June 2004). Dr. Halit Eren, who was the Deputy Director General, was appointed Director General of IRCICA as of 1st January 2005.