IRCICA started its activities in 1980 as the first subsidiary organ of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference “Organisation of Islamic Cooperation” (OIC) concerned with culture.
Its establishment was proposed by the Republic of Turkey during the Seventh Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Istanbul, in 1976, and adopted by the Conference by Resolution no. 3/7-ECS.
The Establishment Statute of the Centre was adopted by the Ninth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Dakar, Senegal, 1978) by Resolution no. 1/9-C. The Statute was amended later and readopted by the Twelfth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Baghdad, Iraq, 1981). Finally, the Sixth Islamic Summit Conference (Dakar, 1991) adopted the Framework Statute of the Subsidiary Organs of the OIC by its Resolution no. 1/6-Org (IS).
The Centre started its activities in 1980, after its first work program and first budget proposal, prepared and submitted by the Centre’s newly appointed Director General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, were adopted by Resolution no. 11/11-C of the Eleventh Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Islamabad, Pakistan, 1980).
Work programs of the Centre were officially announced to the international cultural and academic circles on 23 May 1982 at a ceremony inaugurated by H.E. Turgut Ozal, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State of Turkey at the time, who years later would extend his patronage to the Centre’s Tenth Anniversary ceremony on 10 October 1990 and honour us as the President of the Republic of Turkey. As to the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Centre, it was commemorated with a ceremony held under the patronage and in the presence of H.E. Suleyman Demirel, President of the Republic of Turkey, at IRCICA’s headquarters on 7 November 1995.
The Centre moved from its previous place in Yıldız Palace to its new Headquarters near Topkapı Palace Museum and Sultanahmet Mosque. The Headquarter lies within a complex part of which is owned by the Governorate of Istanbul. This complex was allocated to the Prime Ministry in the Ottoman period known as “Bab-ı Ali” (The Sublime Port). Five buildings from this complex were allocated to the Centre: the main historical building which includes the office of the Director General of IRCICA and the Exhibition Hall; the building with the main Research Departments at IRCICA; the building allocated to the Calligraphy Department and Publication Department; and building on the Administration and Financial Affairs. The building with the four floors; the first top three floors are allocated to the Library; whereas the first floor is allocated to the conference hall.