The international panel conference on “Al-Quds and al-Masjid al-Aqsa under the Light of Historical Documents” organized by the OIC General Secretariat; IRCICA; the Jerusalem Higher Committee of the Presidency of the State of Palestine; and, Marmara University Jerusalem Studies Application and Research Center took place at IRCICA headquarters on 22 December 2022. The panel was held within the framework of a joint project undertaken by the Department of Palestine and al-Quds Affairs of the General Secretariat of OIC and IRCICA with the aim of building a historical documentary reference base on the Islamic history and heritage of al-Masjid al-Aqsa and al-Quds al-Sharif and the holy sites and Islamic properties in the region. Heads and members of the diplomatic and consular corps, scholars and media representatives were present at the panel. Following the opening address of IRCICA Director General Ambassador Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol Kılıç, the opening session was addressed by Ambassador Faed Mustafa, Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Ankara; Ambassador Samir Bakr Diab, Assistant Secretary General of the OIC for Palestine and al-Quds Affairs, representing H.E. the Secretary General of OIC; Mr. Mutassem Tayem, Head of the Jerusalem Unit, Jerusalem Higher Committee, Office of the President of the State of Palestine; Mr. Nabil Dabbour, Director General, SESRIC, Ankara; Prof.Dr. İsmail Taşpınar, Director of the Jerusalem Studies Application and Research Center, Marmara University.
The documentary titled “Property Documents of al-Aqsa Mosque / Haram al-Sharif” prepared by the Office of the President of the State of Palestine, was screened. An exhibition titled “Al-Aqsa Mosque in Ottoman Archive Documents and Historical Photos from IRCICA Archives” was visited in IRCICA’s conference and exhibition hall.
The first working session, chaired by Dr. Basel al-Jabari (Strategic Planning and Policy Advisor, The Jerusalem Higher Committee), heard the following papers: “Ottoman Empire’s Efforts to Preserve the Status of Masjid al-Aqsa” presented by Prof. Fazıl Bayat, Expert on Historical Studies, IRCICA; “Educational Institutions in the Vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque” by Prof. Dr. Imad Abu Kishek, President of Al-Quds University; “Al-Aqsa Mosque as a Perpetual Stipulation in Al-Quds Waqfs” by Dr. Alaattin Dolu, Kastamonu University, Department of History; “Wailing Wall: A Place of Worship Created by an Ideology” by Prof. Dr. Yasemin Avcı, Pamukkale University, Department of History.
The second session, chaired by Prof.Dr. İsmail Taşpınar (Director of Jerusalem Studies Application and Research Center, Marmara University), received the papers on “The Israeli Plans to Divide Al-Aqsa Mosque / Al-Haram al-Sharif” by Dr. Basel al-Jabari, Strategic Planning and Policy Advisor, The Jerusalem Higher Committee; “Al-Quds and International Law” by Prof. Dr. Berdal Aral, Medeniyet University, Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations; “The Ottoman Heritage in al-Quds, An Islamic Property” by Dr. Yusuf Natsheh, Director of the Center for al-Quds Studies, Al-Quds University; “Al-Quds, the Qibla of Three Religions: Historical and Theo-Etymological Arguments and the Issue of its Belonging” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanoğlu, Hacı Bayram Veli University, Faculty of Islamic Studies. Both sessions ended with Q&A discussions.