13-17 October 2010, Skopje, Macedonia, Vol. 1: 752 p. (English and Turkish), Vol. 2: 730 p. (Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian), Sources and Studies on the History of Islamic Civilization Series nr. 32, IRCICA, Istanbul, 2015
This is a collection of the papers that were presented during the international congress on “Islamic Civilisation in the Balkans” held in the Macedonian capital Skopje in October 2010. The congress, organized in cooperation with the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU), was fourth in IRCICA’s congress series that focus on the history and cultures of the Balkan region. The Skopje congress was accorded high patronage and opened by H.E. Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic Macedonia. President Ivanov also participated in the congress in his capacity as an academician and presented a paper. This State support and scholarly contribution extended to the congress underscored the importance attached to its objectives. The first volume contains the papers that were presented in English or Turkish (39 papers) and the second volume, those presented in Macedonian, Albanian or Serbian (44 papers).
Located at crossroads between Europe and Western Asia, the Balkan peoples have been in contact with the Muslim world since at least the 8th century. Various phenomena, including the long experience in trade between the two regions, helped fasten the expansion process, and enhance the notable cultural role, of Islam in the Balkans. The relationship between the Muslim world and the Balkans has not only been one of encounters and exchanges but also one of coexistence. Research papers contributed to the congress addressed a wide range of topics highlighting the multicultural relations specific to the Balkan region.
IRCICA’s engagement in studies on the region in connection with the history of Islamic civilisation draws from the above aspects of the theme and also takes into account that two Balkan countries are members of the OIC and IRCICA: Albania is a full Member State and Bosnia and Herzegovina is an Observer State. Previously, three congresses were held on the same theme, in Sofia (2000), Tirana (2003) and Bucharest (2006) respectively. A fifth congress was held in May 2015. This program devoted to the history of Islamic civilization in the Balkans has succeeded in drawing interest and participation from around the world in addition to the Balkan countries themselves and generated a fascinating range of studies, as the contents of this publication reflect.