Abdulmecid Ariguzel: Iran Exhibition at the Topkapi Palace


Topkapı Palace Museum hosts the exhibition “Ten Thousand Years of Iranian Civilization, Two Thousand Years of Common Heritage” within the scope of 2009 “Turkey-Iran Culture Year” with the contributions from Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency. 


The exhibition which is realized in cooperation with The “Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey – General Directorate for Cultural Assets and Museums” and The ” Iran Islamic Republic Cultural Heritage, Hand Crafts and Tourism Institution” ; has opened to visitors and met with the artlovers after opening reception on 1 December 2009.


The exhibition which arranged in two sections, named as pre-Islamic and Post-Islamic era , includes nearly 300 works containing cuneiform scripts, calligraphies, miniatures, handwritten manuscripts, human and animal figures, textiles, coins, metal and wood pieces crafted by civilizations existed in the Iranian geography from the exclusive pieces of the collections of The Iranian National Museum, The Topkapı Palace Museum, The Istanbul Archaeology Museums, The Istanbul Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, The Military Museum, The Sadberk Hanım Museum and The Millet Written Works Library.


The pieces from the Paleolithic Era, Neolithic Era, Chalcolithic Era , Bronze Age and Iron Age of Iranian geography which has natural features convenient to human life and improvement are being exhibited chronologically in the exhibition.The most important pieces among these are the inscriptions and writings belong to The Elam Empire and The Achaemenid Empire, proving the improvement of writing at Iran. Bronze pieces which vary quite rich with their forms , ornaments and manufacture techniques that belong to a region at the west of Iran, called Luristan, are forming an another important group of pieces in the exhibition. The Metal pieces of the Sassanids, one of the most important civilizations of Iran, are also taking place in the exhibition with its exclusive examples.


Iranian Islamic artifacts which belong to The Post- Islamic era  include the examples of ceramics, tiles , metal, handwritten books, textile and wooden products of Abbasid , Seljuk , Ilkhanid , Incu , Muzaffarid , Jalayirid ,Timurid , Qara Qoyunlu , Aq Qoyunlu , Safavid and Qajar periods from museums in both countries.

Documents showing diplomatic and cultural relations between Iran and Turkey are also on display in the exhibition. The artifacts from the Topkapı Palace Museum include diplomatic gifts sent to Ottoman sultans and ones brought by Iranian embassy officials to establish peace between the two countries.

The exhibition can be visited at the dates between December 2 2009 and February 5 2010

Place: The Topkapi Palace Museum – Has Ahırlar (The Privy Stables)

Visiting Hours: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM everyday except tuesdays