Date: Monday, 15 August 2011
Time: 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Venue:  Dolmabahçe Art Gallery, Beşiktaş, Tel. 0212 259 17 42

A Calligraphy Exhibition organized jointly by Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Cultural Institute (ECI) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) will be opened on Monday, 15 August 2011 at Dolmabahçe Art Gallery, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, at 4 p.m.

The event is fourth in a series of exhibitions taking place within the framework of the ECO Calligraphy Festival that aims to promote the art heritage of the member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The first exhibition in the series was held at Behzad Art Museum in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 13-27 October 2010, featuring 300 works of calligraphy. Second in the series was the exhibition held at Babur Garden in Kabul, Afghanistan on 2-8 December 2010. As to the third one, it took place in the Gallery of Arts in Tehran, Iran, under the title “The Land of the Sun”, on 15-26 June 2011.

The fourth exhibition of the Festival is opening in Istanbul, a capital of cultures. 65 calligraphers from ECO Member States, mostly from Turkey and Iran and also from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan will display a total of 110 works. Among the world-famous calligraphers participating are Ahmet Zeki Yavaş, Ali Shirazi, Ali Toy, Jawad Bakhtiyari, Davut Bektaş, Amir Ahmed Falsafi, Fuat Başar, Ghulam Husayn Amirkhani, Hasan Çelebi, Ilahi Khatami, Muhammed Haydari, Muhammed Salahshur, Osman Özçay and Savaş Çevik. The exhibition will be opened on Monday, 15 Ağustos 2011 at 4 pm. at Dolmabahçe Art Gallery. It will remain open for visits from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, 26 August 2011 inclusive.

IRCICA’s scholarly activities in various areas of Islamic culture and civilization include the study and promotion of the Islamic arts. Through these activities IRCICA is known across the world as a center of reference in these areas. Since its establishment IRCICA organized 237 different exhibitions. 168 of them were organized in IRCICA’s exhibition hall at Çit Qasr, Yıldız Palace, Istanbul, while 64 took place at other venues, in the OIC-IRCICA Member States: Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen and 5 others in other countries:  Germany, France, Japan, U.K. and U.S.A.

Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), the cultural centre of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an intergovernmental institution with 57 Member States. Since its establishment in 1980, IRCICA undertakes activities relating to research, publishing, documentation and information on subjects concerning the Islamic civilization and Muslim cultures including the history of Muslim nations, history of science, archeology, architecture and urbanism, fine arts and handicrafts, preservation of cultural heritage, and cultural development issues. The Centre coordinates collaborative studies to project a correct image of Islam and Muslim cultures in world opinion, strengthen affinities between its member countries and others by way of cultural cooperation, and thus contribute in building harmonious relations among Muslim nations and with other cultures and communities in the West and the East. IRCICA’s work is conducted through research, organization of congresses, exhibitions, competitions of arts and architecture, and library and archives services.

IRCICA endeavours to promote the classical Islamic arts, particularly the art of calligraphy, support the artists, and help to develop studies and teaching on the history and present applications of these arts. It is known in the Muslim countries and in circles interested throughout the world as a focal point in these areas. IRCICA organizes international calligraphy competitions, which are held once every three years; the 8th competition was finalized in 2010. Its publications on the art of calligraphy serve as references to researchers and artists. It conducts training programs for the benefit of calligraphers from allover the world.

The Tehran-based Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is a regional organization established by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey in 1985. Its membership expanded with seven states joining it in 1992. ECO is active in promoting cooperation among its Member States in various areas of economic development, in particular the areas of energy, industry, agriculture, and transportation, and also in the areas of culture and education. Its Cultural Institute (ECI) became operational on adoption of its establishment statute in 1995. The Cultural Institute coordinates joint projects aiming to preserve the cultural heritage of the ECO member countries. It aims to contribute to studies and cooperation on a wide range of subjects, including information, literature, philosophy, arts, sports and education and to expand communications among institutions and individuals working in these areas.

The Member States of ECO and its Cultural Institute (ECI) are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.