The holding of seminars, conferences and symposia on the subjects of Islamic history, art and culture is a requirement written in the establishment statute of the Center. The first meeting of the Governing Council also called upon the Center to organise a seminar on Islamic Art. It was said in the report (Clause 6[a]):

"The Center will take the opportunity of the exposition on Islamic Art which will be organised by the Turkish Goverment in Istanbul on the occasion of the celebration of the 15th Century of Hijra, to organise a meeting on "The Philosophy of Islamic Art" or "The Influence of Islamic Art on the Other Arts."

The Symposium was organised between 18 and 22 April 1983. The opening ceremony was held in the impressive hall of the Atatürk Cultural Centre where the stage was decorated with the flags of Turkey and OIC countries, and banners carrying the subject of the Symposium were hung on each corner. H.E. Mr. Habib Chatty, Secretary General of the OIC, H.E. Mr. Bakary Drame, Assistant Secretary General for Cultural and Social Affairs of the OIC and Islamic Solidarity Fund, H.E. Mr. İlhan Evliyaoğlu, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism and Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Director General of the Centre were present when the ceremony started with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an.

In his opening speech .H.E. Habib Chatty, Secretary General of the OIC, expressed his deep appreciation and thanks to Turkish Government and Turkish people for hosting the symposium in Istanbul, "A fine and venerable city which may be regarded as one of the impregnable bastions of Islamic civilization whose splendour has shown all over the world."

Giving the precise reason which prompted the OIC in deciding the celebration of the 15th Century Hijra, he remarked:

"Expressing the desire of entire Islamic Ummah, the OIC wanted to make the beginning of the new Century of the Hijra a great occasion not only for celebrating the start of a century but also for inducing Muslims first of all to study the reasons for their painful underdevelopment, then to analyse the factors of their awakening and accordingly to work together in a spirit of Islamic Solidarity for the renaissance of their eternal heritage, their resplendent civilisation and their glorious and radiant history". He praised the coordination of efforts between the Turkish Government and the Centre in celebrating the 15th Century Hijra and cited the simultaneous opening of the Symposium and Islamic Art Exhibition as an example of the scientific endeavours of the Centre and said : "In conclusion, I must commend the zeal of the Research Centre of Islamic History, Art and Culture and its accomplishments over the past three years under the guidance of its Director General, Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu to whom I wish continued success."

H.E. Mr İlhan Evliyaoğlu, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, welcomed H.E. Mr. Habib Chatty, participants and members of the press, to the city of Istanbul and Turkey. He underlined the importance of Hijra of the Holy Prophet and expressed the opinion that Islamic Art was the product of synthesis. Local and regional cultures were supplemented not supplanted. The motivating force behind all the creative activity was derived from the Islamic faith and its principles of unity, equality and fraternity.
Talking about fostering unity in the ranks of muslims, he said : "Today, the first and foremost problem of the Islamic World is to live in solidarity, helping each other without any distinction of language, race or nation. It is our deep hope that this Symposium, held in the year of 1403 of the Hijra, will be instrumental in opening an era of unification and integration for the Islamic World, through the pursuance of faith and scientific activities." He praised the role of Istanbul Research Centre in the promotion and dissemination of Islamic Culture and expressed the hope of Turkish Goverment for greater collaboration within the Islamic World in order to strengthen the spiritual, artistic and cultural ties.

Mr. M. Aziza, a UNESCO representative, conveyed the apology of the Secretary General of UNESCO for his inability to attend this important Symposium due to his other commitments. He expressed UNESCO's appreciation of the important theme of the Symposium. He dwelled upon the diversity and complexity of Islamic Art from Timbuktoo in Mali to "Taj Mahal" in India but at the same time characterised by a deep unity as regards its spirit and aim. He said the Symposium interested UNESCO for two reasons:

"Firstly because it is taking place within the framework of the celebrations of the 15th Century Hijra, to which the UNESCO has also contributed positively. Secondly because the title of the Symposium is significant and reminds us not only of the unifying character of the Islamic art and civilisation but also the unity of the Islamic Community as a whole.

Mr. Abdelhadi Boutaleb, Director General of ISESCO, also spoke on the occasion. While making a detailed comparison between Islamic art and other pre-Islamic arts such as Hellenic art, Pagan art or Roman art, he thought that the Islamic art was very near to nature and everyday life. In his opinion, mosque architecture is the true transmitter of Islamic Art. He spoke comprehensively about assimilative character of Islamic art and its eventual integration with Persian, African and Hellenic Arts but only after the infusion of its own spirit. He praised the success of the Symposium

Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Director General of the Centre, welcomed the distinguished guests to the Symposium. He recounted the positive results achieved by the Centre within a short span of three years. Among others, these included, attaining its diplomatic status, publication of books such as "Ottoman Yearbooks", "The Muslim Pious Foundations and Real Estates in Palestine", "Adresses of Cultural Institutions in the OIC Countries" and the "Newsletter". He also sought the assistance of the participants with regard to ongoing research projects especially in the preparation of a "World Bibliography of the Translations of the Meanings of the Holy Quran" and the "World Guide-Book of Islamic Cultural Institutions". He informed the audience that the present Symposium is the first in a series that will take place covering other important themes in the domain of Islamic history, art and culture. At the end, he thanked H.E. Mr. Habib Chatty, H.E. Mr. Bakary Drame and others in the Secretariat for their active support without which the Symposium could not have been materialised. He also expressed his gratitude to the members of the Organising Committee for their expert advice. He expressed his utmost thanks and deep appreciation to the Turkish Government especially in the person of H.E. Mr. İlhan Evliyaoğlu and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their unfailing support since the establishment of the Centre.

At the end of the opening Ceremony, two documentaries on Islamic Arts prepared by the Centre were shown. The first related to the art of Calligraphy and the great Calligrapher, the late Mr. Hamid Aytaç. The second was about "gilding" and "illumination", the arts of the book and other Islamic decorations.

Papers of the symposium were published under the title Islamic Art, Common Principles, Forms and Themes: Proceedings of the International Symposium held in Istanbul in April 1983.

Symposium: The Working Sessions
18 April 1983
Working Session 1

The opening session of the Symposium was followed by two working sessions in the evening. The first working session started with Princess Wijdan Ali in the chair. The following scholars read their papers in this session.

1. Prof. Dr. Abdul Aziz Kamel (Kuwait): The Religion and Creativity In Islamic Art (Ar.)
2. Dr. Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi (Turkey): The Development of Architecture in Islam (Fr.)
3. Prof.Dr. Oktay Aslanapa (Turkey): The Devolopment of Konya Seljuk Carpets (Eng.)
4. Dr. Emel Esin (Turkey): The Quranic Verses and the Hadith, as Sources of Inspiration in Islamic Art (Eng.)


After the speakers read their papers, a brief discussion followed which mainly centered on a few debateable points raised in the paper of Dr. Emel Esin.

Working Session 2

This session started after the coffee break. Prof.Dr. Abdul Aziz Kamel presided over this session. The following speakers read their papers.

1. Dr. Afif Bahnassi (Syria): The Stars in the Geometrical Arabesque (Ar.)
2. Dr. Safwan Tell (Jordan): The Principles of Islamic Art (Ar.)
3. Prof.Dr. Hamed Adjabbi (Tunisia): Islamic Art, Its Common Principles Themes and Forms (Ar.)
4. Dr. Abdulhadi Tazi (Morocco): Water Clock of the 8th Century Hijra in the Tower of al-Qarawiyin University in Morocco (Ar.)


The discussion which mainly revolved round the paper of Dr. Bahnassi and was mostly in the nature of seeking explanations.

Dr. Mohammad Sijelmassi from Morocco asked whether the speaker had excluded calligraphy from his study as it only explains the geometrical and floral designs.The speaker explained that he had not, in his paper, touched upon Calligraphy which, according to him, could be taken as a high example of creativity in Islamic Arts.

Mr. Bida Habib from Tunis wanted to know why the speaker had omitted the mention of the essential sources on which his hypothesis about the stars in Arabesque was based. The speaker explained that the reference to this effect existed in his detailed paper. Prof.Dr. Ismail Al-Faruqi remarked that it was important to know which parts of Islamic Arts had been borrowed from the previous civilisation. Mr. Safwan Tell thought that the origin of the floral decorations could be traced back to previous civilisations such as Byzantine, Roman, and Egyptian etc. He also opined that Islamic arts are not based on man or his achievements. Dr. Afif Bahnassi then explained the geometrical forms of stars. The chairman of the session emphasised the need for compilation of an Islamic Dictionary of Arts in order to effect coordination in the terminology.

19 April 1983
Working Session 3

The third working session of the Symposium started at 9 A.M. Dr. Afif Bahnassi chaired the session. The following scholars read their papers.

1. Prof.Dr. Aptullah Kuran (Turkey): Interiority and Exterioity in Turkish Architecture (Eng.)
2. Dr. Stefano Bianca (Switzerland): Unity and Variety in the Domestic Architecture in Islam (Eng.)
3. Prof.Dr. Janine Sourdel-Thomine (France): Revival of Seljuk Art in the Iranian Regions (Fr.)
4. Prof.Dr. Mehmet Oluş Arık (Turkey): An Essay on Form Determining Factors in Islamic Architecture (Eng.)
5. Mr. Yousuf Natsheh (Jerusalem): The Architecture of Islamic Jerusalem: Our Duties (Eng.)


The papers presented in this session were very interesting. The audience was moved by the slides of monuments of occupied Jerusalem shown by Mr. Yousuf Natsheh, Director of Department of Islamic Archaeology in Jerusalem, depicting the poor condition of the buildings. The chairman drew the attention of all Islamic Governments and international bodies such as UN and UNESCO to act before it was too late. "It is not only an Islamic heritage but a human heritage," he said, "and ways and means must be found to preserve it." He also agreed with the suggestion of Mr. Yousuf Natsheh that a photographic exhibition of the historical remains of Jerusalem may be arranged which should travel to all Muslim countries. Another scholar proposed the establishment of a Fund for the preservation of this heritage which is in danger.

Working Session 4

Prof.Dr. Bülent Özer chaired this session. The following speakers read their papers:

1. Prof.Dr. Dominique Sourdel (France): City Architecture in the Medieval Islamic World (Fr.)
2. Mr. Ali Louati (Tunisia): Some reflections about the Aesthetic Unity of Islamic Art (Ar.)
3. Arch. Dr. Turgut Cansever (Turkey): The Basic Issues of Islamic Architecture (Eng.)
4. Dr. Peter Andrews (Germany): The Culmination of the Islamic Dome in India/Pakistan (Eng.)

Working Session 5

This session started after the lunch-break. Dr. M. Saleh El Mahdi was the chairman as well as one of the speakers. The following scholars read their papers:

1. Arch. Mr. Ayub Malik (England): The Contemporary Muslim City (Eng.)
2. Dr. M. Saleh El Mahdi (Tunisia): The Impact of Turkish Music on Arabic Music (Ar.)
3. Dr. Mahmoud Guettat (Tunisia): Reflections on the Common Elements in the Art of Islamic Music (Fr.)
4. Mr. Ercümend Berker (Turkey): The Reciprocal Influence between the Turkish Music and Islam (Fr.)
5. Dr. Mohamed Sijelmassi (Morocco): The Signs of Tattooing: an Artistic Expression in the Popular Arts (Fr.)
6. Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy (Turkey): An Important Source for Researches in the Near East: The Photograph Albums of the Yildiz Palace (Eng.)
7. Dr. Abdulaziz Dauletli (Tunisia): Calligraphy: Essential Elements And History (Ar.)

It was one of the longest sessions as the number of speakers was quite large. Dr. M. Saleh El Mahdi, in elaborating the theme of his paper, sang some songs in Arabic which bear the imprint of Turkish music, which was liked as a welcome diversion and was a pleasant surprise.

Working Session 6

This was the last session of the day. Prof.Dr. Emin Bilgiç from the University of Ankara presided over the session. Only three speakers were available to read their papers.

1. Mr. Yousuf Thannon (Iraq): The Thuluth and Sources of Islamic Art (Ar.)
2. Dr. Mohammad Cherifi (Algeria): Arabic Script: Its Originality and Art (Ar.)
3. Dr. Bida Habib (Tunisia): The Philosophical Dimensions and Beauty of the Art of Arabic Calligraphy (Ar.)

The session was interesting as new light was shed on the subject of calligraphy and its manifold dimensions. The speakers traced the beginning of the art of calligraphy, its sources, its essential features and the history of the development of this fascinating Islamic Art.

The appeal made by Dr. Mohammad Cherifi for the conservation of the art of calligraphy was very timely as it is becoming more and more extinct due to the lack of patronage. The paper of Dr. Bida Habib who termed calligraphy as the "Spiritual Architecture" also stressed the same fact when he asked the audience whether the story of this Islamic Art has finally come to an end.

21 April 1983
Working Session 7

The Symposium reconvened after a day's break. On 20th April 1983, the delegates participated in the Islamic Arts Exhibition opened by H.E. Bülend Ulusu, the Prime Minister of Turkey. The ceremony was held at the Atatürk Cultural Centre. Seven different exhibits relating to different branches of Islamic Arts were displayed at various places in Istanbul.

The 7th session started with Dr. Najmudine Bammate in the chair. The following scholars presented their papers:

1. Eng. Dr. Ludvig Kalus (France): The Art of the Islamic Coins (Fr.)
2. Prof.Dr. Cevat Erder (Italy): The ICCROM: International Centre of Study for the Conservation and the Restoration of Cultural Heritage and its Concern for Islamic Countries and the Conservation of Their Works of Art (Fr.)
3. Dr. Süha Özkan (Switzerland): Conception, Objectives and Development of Aga Khan Award (Eng.)
4. Prof.Dr. Alexandre Papadopoulo (France) : On the Aesthetics of Islamic Art (Fr.)

After the papers were read, discussions were centered on the paper of Prof. Alexandre Papadopoulo.

Working Session 8

This session started at 5 P.M. under the chairmanship of Dr. Ismail Al-Faruqi. The following scholars read their papers:

1. Mr. Ibrahim Boolaky (UK): The Combination of Arabic Principles and Architectonic Forms In Islamic Art (Eng.)
2. Dr. Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu (Turkey): The Ornamentation of Islamic Ceramics: The Forms in Space Created by the Forms (Fr.)
3. Mrs. Animah Syed Mohamed (Malaysia): Contemporary Visual Arts in Malaysia (Eng.)

The discussion at this session centered on currents of contemporary art in the Islamic World.

22 April 1983
Working Session 9

The session started at 9 A.M. under the chairmanship of Arch. Sami M. Angawi, Director of the Hajj Research Centre. The following scholars read their papers:

1. Prof.Dr. Salahuddin Al-Munajjid (Lebanon): The Pictures of Makkah Al-Mukarramah and al-Medina Al-Munawwara in Manuscripts (Ar.)
2. Prof.Dr. Metin And (Turkey): Uniformity and Diversity in Islamic Theatrical Arts (Eng.)
3. Prof.Dr. Günsel Renda (Turkey): Portraiture in Islamic Painting (Eng.)
4. Prof.Dr. Lois Lamya Al-Faruqi (USA): The Islamization of The Hagia Sofia Plan (Eng.)


Islamic civilisation is a civilisation of faith which is assigned priority over other principles which are knowledge, aesthetics and technique and this was the notable point of discussion.

Working Session 10

Prof.Dr. Oktay Aslanapa chaired the session. The following scholars read their papers:

1. Dr. Zeren Tanındı (Turkey): Illustrated Historical Texts in the Islamic Manuscripts (Eng.)
2. Dr. Abdullah Saleh Taki (Kuwait): About the Islamic Conception on Art (Ar.)
3. Prof.Dr. Ismail Al-Faruqi (USA): Figurative Representation and Drama: their Prohibition and Transfiguration in Islamic Art (Eng.)
4. Dr. Ülkü Bates (USA): Ottoman Documents Concerning Building Activities in Mecca and Medina (Eng.)

The papers presented at this session were very informative.

Dr. Ülkü Bates threw light on the importance of Ottoman imperial orders, decrees and imperial register books which provide detailed information about the repairs and extension works of Holy Places in Mecca and Medina.

Concluding Working Session

Princess Wijdan Ali was the chairman of this last session, where only two papers were presented.

1. Prof.Dr. Shaker Mustafa (Kuwait): Elements of Unity in Islamic Art (Ar.)
2. Prof.Dr. Najmuddine Bammate (France): Calligraphy: the Principal of Unity (Eng.)

The final evaluation of the symposium was made by the delegates and participants after all the papers were read. Almost all the participants were unanimous in their opinion about the success of the symposium.
Even the date, place and subject of the next symposium were proposed and other institutions were also advised and invited to take this lead and hold similar symposiums.

Princess Wijdan Ali summed up the Symposium by saying that a wide field had been covered and advised the Islamic artists to portray the ordinary life, progress and achievements of the people through their artistic works. She also urged the 'Muslim elders' to understand the problems of the contemporary artists and also offer them guidelines. She lamented the lack of social security for the artists in the Islamic world and emphasised the need for restoring to the artist the dignity and status that he deserves.

She thought it was not only the field of art that needs to be 'islamized' but others such as economy, education must also be brought into line with the spirit of Islam. She paid tributes to Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu for the successful organisation of the Symposium. She described the Symposium as an event of great importance not only for Turkey but also for the Islamic World. "The artists and art historians have immensely benefitted from each other and this is", "she thought" a constructive outcome of the Symposium.

Symposium: The Recommendations and Istanbul Declaration

A Committee of scholars under the chairmanship of Prof.Dr. Abdul Aziz Kamel was constituted. The Committee drafted the recommendations and resolutions along with the Istanbul Declaration on Islamic Arts as a concrete outcome of the Symposium. The draft resolutions and Declaration were read to the audience and approved unanimously.

A: The Recommendations and Resolutions

(1) The participants thanked General Kenan Evren, the President of Turkey, and the Prime Minister, Mr. Bülend Ulusu and the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. İlhan Evliyaoğlu and the Turkish people for this Symposium and the Islamic Exhibition. They also thanked H.E. Mr. Habib Chatty, the Secretary General of the OIC for this Symposium by performing its opening ceremony, and for his work for the cause of Islamic cultural solidarity and his help for the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture and to the Islamic Solidarity Fund for its support of this Symposium, and the help they gave to the Director General of the Centre, Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, and to all institutions and authorised officials for their cooperation in the organisation of the present Symposium.

(2) We propose the setting up of an Institute for promotion and improvement of calligraphy to serve the Islamic World, with perferably Istanbul as its headquarters.
We also propose the creation of a special award in the name of the greatest master of the contemporary calligraphers, Hamid Al-Amidi (Aytaç) (May Allah Bless His Soul). The Centre shall work out the details about these awards. This shall inspire the new generations of Muslims, and encourage them to follow the examples of great Muslim artists. For this purpose exhibitions on calligraphy shall be organised from time to time in the capital Islamic Cities for display of art of various calligraphers, appraisal of their work, and their encouragement on governmental level and through local and international Islamic organisations and by publicising their works.

(3) The preparation and publication of a lexicon of technical terms, taking into consideration and utilising fully the work that has already been done in this field, especially in Arab countries.

(4) We call for more help and support for museums of Islamic Art in Islamic capitals and cities in view of their aesthetic and instructional value, to demonstrate the unity of Islamic Art on the whole despite the diversity found in its different schools and fields, and to encourage setting up of more exhibitions of Islamic Art.

(5) The Symposium while it lauds and praises the Centre for its efforts especially recording the works and lives of contemporary calligraphers and artists in documentary films, calls for expansion of these efforts, so as to build up a comprehensive library on Islamic Art covering both the old as well as the contemporary art, to make these documentaries easily available to the younger Muslim generation on the one hand, and to mark a new stage in the history of art, and a new effort that will be subjoined to the previous efforts on the other hand.

We also note that the recording and recognition of the works of the contemporary artists is far better than erecting marble memorials on their graves or composing elegies after they passed away.

(6) The participants recommend that this comprehensive Symposium should be followed up by more Symposia on art, about a specific theme or more than one theme of Islamic Art.

B: Istanbul Declaration on Islamic Art

The contribution of the Republic of Turkey in the celebrations throughout the Islamic world marking the advent of the 15th Hijra Century, its co-operation with the organization of Islamic Conference, its help and support of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture, providing it with a permanent place, and the help that it has given in arranging the international Scientific Symposium on the common principles, forms and themes of the Islamic Art held on 5-9 Rajab 1403 A.H. (18-22 April, 1983) in the city of Istanbul, and also the way it has entertained and offered hospitality to the reseach scholars and offered them facilities for visits to places of scientific and artistic interest, all these shall leave a lasting impact and will be gratefully remembered in the days to come. The participants express their gratitude to the President, the Government and the people of Turkey, and hope that they shall continue to offer their support to artistic and scientific activities, so that the future of Islam is brighter and more glorious and the Muslim Governments, Peoples and Scholars come closer to each other and co-operate with each other in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

The Symposium provided an excellent opportunity for exchange of views, explanation, and analysis of problems, and for the presentation of masterpieces of Islamic arts and also for a new future of Islamic arts through fusion of principles and forms.

In this regard the participants agreed on the following broad outlines:

I-The research scholars in different fields of Islamic arts are now endeavouring to link these arts to their original Islamic sources while trying to enlighten through them the local and international artistic influences. Though there is multiplicity of views on Islamic art and its interpretations, the continuation of dialogue shall produce better understanding as well as appreciation of each other's views.

II-Joint meetings of specialists in Islamic law and arts may be helpful to expand the area of co-operation beetween them as indicated by different subjects of the main discussion:

a. Principles of jurisprudence based on Qur’an, the Book of Allah and the traditions of the Prophet.

b. Opinions and commentaries of jurists.

c. The artistic practices.

This brief description needs explanation and elaboration through further dialogue and intellectual co-operation to open new vistas before modern artistic practices as well as elucidate some of the problems that still continue to generate a lot of heat and controversy. One such problem is the question of pictures of flat or three dimensional bodies. Our purpose here is to throw further light on the subject by specialists in this field and help in producing a better cooperation and understanding.

III-There are many contemporary artistic trends in the Islamic countries that seek to experiment in correlating the principles with the earlier Islamic artistic efforts on the one hand, and with the contemporary international schools of art on the other. The proponents of this group presented some of their model works in the Symposium in order to elicit the view of their colleagues and appraisal of these works. The Symposium discussed these aspects in the limited time at its disposal but further dialogue is needed. The future symposiums should help achieve this purpose. The publications on art to be produced by the Centre would also be helpful in furthering this dialogue.

IV-The contemporary trends of art in the Islamic world reflect beautiful aspects of daily life as different Islamic peoples see them, for Islamic art does not only mean big palaces or large mosques, which are artistic creations that now form a part of history of Islamic art.

There was enquiry about the share of the labourers, the farmers and the youth in the aesthetics of Islamic art. The creative art has reflected this tendency very clearly combining originality and beauty with practical utility, while retaining a close link with its original Islamic sources.

V-The art has not only an aesthetic value, but it is also a means of education, building up of character, preserving and ensuring continuity of a people's historical identity and civilisation. It is our duty to absorb its concepts into our educational programmes and means of mass communication.

The participants also noted the threat to the Islamic heritage posed by outside aggression. A recent example of this is the repeated acts of aggression of Israel against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds. This calls for renewed efforts for preservation of whatever is left, and restoration of what is destroyed through fire, damage or usurpation.

VI-The Islamic historical monuments are also at risk due to the internal urban expansion, especially in the cities and capitals of Islamic countries. This increase of population spoils the past in the interests of the present, and history for the material gain. The two interests must be balanced properly, the interest of preservation of our heritage and those of the new generations for dwelling and decent living conditions. There are many examples to be found in the capital cities where similar problems were confronted and successfully tackled.

VII-There are certain Islamic arts that do not occupy or need much space, yet the pressure of circumstances has kept them confined to narrow circles. A prominent example of this is the art of calligraphy, the art employed by great calligraphers in the writing of the word of ‘Allah’ which is yet the strongest bond that holds the Muslims together. It is time that more and more attention should be given to the advancement and promotion of this Islamic art.

VIII-The glorious periods of Islamic history produced original masterpieces of art that symbolise the unity of the Islamic civilisation despite the great diversity in its themes and lands. The participants of this Symposium hope the present meeting shall inaugurate a new age for the coming generation respecting newer and original creations of art reflecting Islamic civilisation that shall neither be a mere repetition of the old models nor completely divorced from them, nor completely detached from the world trends and movements. It shall bring the Muslim community nearer to its original sources, hand in hand with other human civilisations, responding to and catering for the functional, aesthetic and physical needs of Muslim societies, and firmly and steadily marching onwards. This gathering is just one step in this direction and we hope that more steps and necessary measures will follow in the days to come. For this we seek help from Allah.

And say: "Work (righteousness) soon will Allah observe your work, and His messenger, and the believers; soon will you be brought back to the knower of what is hidden and what is open: Then will He show you the truth of all that you did (QURAN: 9:105)". And true indeed is the word of Allah!

Symposium: Sidelights

1. Exhibition of calligraphy by Hasan Çelebi

The organising committee of the symposium held an exhibition in the Çit Qasr, displaying the calligraphic works of Hasan Çelebi, a student of late Hamid Aytaç. H.E. Mr. Habib Chatty, H.E. Mr. Bakary Drame from OIC and Princess Wijdan Ali were among the guests who visited the exhibition on the first day. It remained open for the duration of the Symposium. The viewers were indeed fascinated by different styles of Arabic calligraphy.

2. Evening of Mevlevi Sema

‘Sema’ an authentic performance of 'Mevlevi Dervishes' was arranged at the Museum of the Classical Literature. It was hosted by Mr. Feyzi Halıcıoğlu, President of Konya Tourism Association. Every year this association celebrates the anniversary of the great Sufi poet Mevlana Jalal-ud-din Rumi in Konya.
The performance was given in the circular hall of the Museum on the evening of 21st April 1983. This museum was originally built as a "Mevlevihane". The performance was preceded by a traditional dinner in the style of Dervishes.

3. Concerts of Turkish Classical Music

With the kind permission of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the State Turkish Classical Music Chorus gave two concerts during the week.

The first concert was given on 19 April 1983 at 21.30 hours in the concert hall of Atatürk Cultural Centre. It was conducted by Dr. Nevzat Atlığ, a famous Turkish Chorus Master and winner of the Award of Service to Turkish culture.

The songs composed by famous Turkish composers such as Abdulkadir Meragi, Gazi Giray Han, Hafiz Post, Mustafa Itri Efendi, Haci Sadullah Aga, Sultan Selim III, Haci Arif Bey and Rahmi Bey were included in the programme.

The second concert was held in Çit Qasr on the occasion of the first meeting of the International Commission for the Preservation of Islamic Cultural Heritage.

The first piece was composed by Sultan Abdulaziz, in whose reign "Çit Qasr" was completed. The second was consisted of classical Tunisian music. This concert was very much appreciated by the audience.

4. Bosphorus Cruise (22 April 1983)

This was the closing reception whereby dinner was served on board the boat which cruised up the Bosphorus. The guests kept busy taking photographs of the beautiful scenery.

5. Documentaries about Islamic arts

Documentary films concerning two important aspects of Islamic arts were also shown on the occasion of the Symposium. The first one related to the life and works of late Mr. Hamid Aytaç, the master calligrapher. This fascinating half-hour documentary showed some masterpieces of this calligrapher along with commentaries and background information.

The second documentary was about "gilding" -a complementary branch of the "Arts of the Book". It showed the famous gilding artist Mrs. Rikkat Kunt at her work and also explained various stages of the development of this art. The film also presented a famous decorator and illuminator Mr. Muhsin Demironat and his works.
Both films were highly appreciated by the art critics and scholars who viewed them.

6. Excursion to the Historical Cities of Bursa and Iznik

This post-symposium excursion took place on 23-24 April 1983 and on the first day the historical city of Iznik, very famous for its tiles and ceramics was visited. The evening and the next day was spent in Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman State. The visitors had the chance to see all the historical and cultural monuments of Bursa and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. The tour took place under the guidance of Prof.Dr. Oktay Aslanapa.

Special programmes were arranged for the people who were accompanying the participants and they visited cultural and historical sites such as museums, mosques, palaces, art galleries, libraries and gardens.

Symposium: Views and Reviews

"Back to Paris, we do not want to be more late to congratulate you on the excellent organisation of the Islamic Art Symposium and we want to thank you particularly for the hospitality extended to us."
Dr. Janine Sourdel
Vice President
University of Paris-Sorbonne
(Paris IV)

"I would like to congratulate you and your colleagues for the perfect organisation of all the events taken place on the occasion of the Symposium and this was because of the devotion of your team that worked very well."
Dr. Ludvik Kalus
9, Rue Robert Lindet
75015 Paris

"The Symposium on the "Common Principles, Forms and Themes of Islamic Arts", between the other congresses/symposiums that I have attended, was the best organised, having a very rich programme... It was very exciting and instructive for me to be with peoples who have different outlook on the Art and the History of Art and to know their ideas on the subject."
Prof. Dr. Ülkü U. Bates
Department of Art
Hunter College of The City University
New York

"I wish to thank you again for your successful steering of the Symposium in which I had great pleasure to participate."
Dr. Stefano Bianca
In Der Looren 47, CH-8053

"Allow me first to congratulate you for your great efforts in organising the Symposium "Common Principles, Forms and Themes of Islamic Arts" and to thank you for an unforgettable week of scholarship, music and travel. Although I am a Muslim and an Arab, your Symposium was the first conference on Islamic Art which I have attended in a Muslim Country. I learned a great deal from it, most importantly, that one should approach Islamic Art with a clear understanding of the Quran and Sunna..."
'On a more general level, I sincerely hope that IRCICA will prosper as a Center of Muslim scholarship of the highest level, guided by the true spirit of Islamic tolerance and expansiveness."
Dr. Yasser Tabbaa
Aga Khan Assistant Professor for Islamic Architecture at
Harvard University and the
Massachusetts Institute of
Massachusetts 02139

"I write to congratulate you on your personal efforts in making the recent Symposium on Islamic Art a great success. Both planning and the implementation of the programme were excellent... I would also like to express my thanks and congratulations to all those at IRCICA who have contributed to make the Symposium a success."
Mr. Ibrahim Boolaky
Deputy Director
New Era Publications
Bucks SL2 35 G-England

"Just to say that I have come back with very happy memories of Istanbul and of the many interesting events and the stimulating discussions with the various participants which by itself, is an excellent achievement. I must also express my appreciation at the meticulous planning of the Seminar."
Arch. Mr. Ayyub Malik
Architect ARIBA
Chapman Taylor Partners
145, Kensington Church St.
London W8 7LS England

"I was impressed by the good organisation of the Symposium on the "Common Principles, Forms and Themes of Islamic Art" and the first meeting of the International Commission for the Preservation of Islamic Cultural Heritage ... May Allah give you success in your works for the good of Islam and Muslims."
Dr. Abdulhadi Boutaleb
Director General
Rabat, Morocco.

"I would like to congratulate you on the great success achieved by you in the organisation of the Symposium and also for the fine management of a variety of admirable Turkish Islamic Cultural events which we had the chance to see. This had evoked appreciation not only of the Turkish Government but also of all the participants."
Dr. Saleh al-Mahdi
Ministry of Cultural Affairs

"I take this opportunity to thank you and the organising committee of the Symposium for the extremely efficient way in which everything has been organised from beginning to the end. As the executive of all this tremendous organisation, which worked with the precision of clockwork, I wish to congratulate you personally and all your staff for this excellent work, which I have never seen equalled elsewhere ... It is a pity that the quality of the papers read was not always equal to that of the organisation."
Dr Alexandre Papadopoulo
138, Bid. De La Republique
92210 Saint-Cloud

"Back to Paris, I would like to extend to you our sincere thanks for your kind reception, magnificent hospitality and the interesting Symposium which was wonderfully conceived and organised."
Mr. M. Aziza
3, Rue Bixion
75007 Paris

"I like to thank you for the friendly and personal reception accorded to me. I will ask you to convey my gratitude to the Turkish authorities who did everything possible for the success of the Symposium at all the phases. My thanks also to the members of your team who resolved all problems of the participants with kindness and efficiency."
Dr. Mohamed Sijelmassi
25, rue Ibn Batouta

"Indeed, it (The Symposium) was a great success, thanks to your dynamism, hardwork, sincerity and the patience. What gave it importance was the participation of the big number of thinkers and scholars from different continents."
Dr. Abdulhadi Tazi
University Institute of Scientific Research,
Mohamed Al-Khamis University,

The List of Participants and Delegates

Participating Officials from the OIC

H.E. Mr. Habib Chatty
Secretary General
Organisation of the Islamic
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

H.E. Mr. Bakary Drame
Assistant Secretary General for
Cultural and Social Affairs
and the Islamic Solidarity Fund,
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

H.E. Mr. Arshad Uz-Zaman
Assistant Secretary General
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Mr. Hasan Daoud
Director of Cultural Affairs
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Mr. Hassan Megag Samater
Director of Hijra Celebration Programme,
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Mr. Ahmed Kemal
Adviser to the Secretary General
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Other Participants and Delegates

Prof. Dr. Alexandre Papadopoulo
Centre de Recherches sur Esthétique de l'Art Musulman
Université de Paris I
Paris, France

Dr. Abdelhadi El Tazi
Directeur de l'Institut Universitaire de la
Recherche Scientifique
Rabat, Maroc

Dr. Abdulaziz Dauletli
Association Tunisienne d'Histoire et d'Archéologie
Tunis Tunisia

Prof. Dr. Abdul Aziz Kamel
Amiri Diwan
Safat, Kuwait

Eng. Abdel Kader Koshak
Secretary General
Organisation of Islamic Capitals
Mekkah, Saudi Arabia

Prof. Abdelhadi Boutaleb
Director General
Rabat, Maroc

Dr. Abdullah Saleh Taki
Ministry of Education

Dr. Afif Bahnassi
Director General, Antiquities and
Museums, National Museum
Damascus, Syria

Mr. Abdelhamid Skender
Calligrapher, Office of the
Algiers, Algeria

Dr. Ahmed Muhammed Isaa
Art Historian
Cairo, Egypt

Mr. Ahmed Dhiuddin Ibrahim
Saudi Arabia

Prof. Dr. Ali Kusheim
University of Al-Fateh
Tripoli, Libya

Mr. Ali Louati
Directeur du Centre d'Art Vivant
Tunis, Tunisie

Dr. Ali Musrati
Scholar and Author
Tripoli, Libya

Ms. Animah Syed Mohamed
Senior Lecturer in History of Art
Mara Institute of Technology
School of Art and Design
Shah Alam, Selangor

Prof. Dr. Abdullah Kuran
Chairman of Dept. of Humanities
Boğaziçi University
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Aydın Yüksel
Architect and Scholar
Istanbul, Turkey

Arch. Mr. Ayyub Malik
Architect ARIBA
London, England

Mr. Avni Akyol
Ex-Minister of Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Baha Tanman
Researcher, Istanbul University
Faculty of Letters
Dept. of History of Art
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Baymirza Hayit
Institute fur Turkistan Vorschung
Köln, West Germany

Dr. Bida Habib
Institut Technologique d'Art, d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme
Tunis, Tunisie

Prof. Dr. Bülent Özer
Dept. History of Architecture
Mimar Sinan University
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Cevat Erder
Director, ICCROM
Rome, Italy

Dr. Jesus Carlos Riosolido Gambotti
Director des Institute Hispano-Arabe de Culture
Madrid, Spain

Prof. Dr. Dominique Sourdel
Université de Paris-Sorbonne
Paris, France

M. Francois de Roche
Institut Francais d'Etudes Anatoliennes
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu
Director General
Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi
Architect, Researcher
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Emel Esin
Secretary General
Institute of Research for Turkish Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Emin Bilgiç
Professor of History
Dil ve Tarih Coğrafya Fakültesi
Ankara, Turkey

Mr. Ercümend Berker
State Conservatory of Turkish
Classical Music
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Esad Süer
Head of History of Architecture
Dept. Mimar Sinan University
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Esin Atıl
Curator of Islamic Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Smithsonian Institution
Washington DC, USA

Prof. Dr. Ezzeddin Ibrahim
University of United Arab Emirates
Al Ain-United Arab Emirates

Mr. Fevzi Halıcı
Konya Tourism Association
Konya, Turkey

Miss Filiz Çağman
Curator of Islamic Art
Topkapı Palace Museum

Dr. Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu
Associate Professor
Hacettepe University
Dept. of History of Art
Ankara, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Gönül Öney
Dean of Faculty of Arts
Ege University
Izmir, Turkey

Mr. Fuad Bayramoğlu
Ex-Ambassador, Art Researcher
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Gülzar Haider
Dept. of Architecture
University of Carleton
Ontario, Canada

Prof. Dr. Gündüz Gökçe
Vice Rector
Mimar Sinan University
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Günsel Renda
Chairman of Archeology and History
of Art Dept.Faculty of Letters
Hacettepe University
Ankara, Turkey

Mr. Halbut Dominique
Institut Francais d'Etudes Anatoliennes
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Haluk Karamağaralı
Art Historian
Ankara University
Faculty of Islamic Studies
Ankara, Turkey

Prof. Hamed Adjabbi
Expert, ALECSO
Tunis, Tunisia

Dr. Hans Peter Laqueur
German Archeological Institute
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Hussein Ateshin
Chairman of Dept. of Architecture
School of Environmental Design
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Hasan Ma'ayergi
University of Qatar
Doha, Qatar

Dr. Hidayet Nuhoğlu
Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Hasan Tell
Liwa Newspaper
Amman, Jordan

Mr. Ibrahim Boolaky
Deputy Director
Islamic Press Agency, New Era Publications
London, England

Dr. İbrahim Numan
Lecturer, Gazi University
Faculty of Architecture
Ankara, Turkey

Al Qadi Ismail Al Akwa
Director General
Libraries and Archeological Museum
Sana'a, Yemen Arab Republic

Prof. Dr. Ismail Al Faruqi
Professor of Islamics
Temple University
Philadelphia Penn., USA

H.E. Datu Ismail Ambia
Malaysian Ambassador to Turkey
Ankara, Turkey

Mr. İsmail Günay Paksoy
The Archeological Museum of Istanbul,
Section of Islamic Coins
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. İsmet Binark
Bibliography and Archive Expert
Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Jamel Lee Hee Soo
Deputy Secretary General
Korea Muslim Federation
Seoul, Korea

Prof. Dr. Janine Sourdell
Vice President
Universite des Paris-Sorbonne,
Paris IV
Paris, France

Dr. Johan Martelius
Royal Institute of Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Mr. Javed Masud
Consul General of Pakistan
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Kady Drame
Secrétaire Général Permanent de l'Hégire
Bamako, République du Mali

Prof. Dr. Kazim Çeçen
Istanbul Technical University
Research Centre for History of Science and Technology
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Khaled Abdel Kareem Juma'a
Director-Manager, The Arab League
(ALECSO), Institute of Arabic Manuscripts
Safat, Kuwait

Prof. Dr. Louis Lamya Al Faruqi
Professor of Religion and the Arts
Temple University
Philadelphia Penn., USA

Eng. Dr. Ludvic Kalus
C.N.R.S Paris
Charge de Cours, Universite Paris-Sorbonne
Paris, France

Dr. Mahmoud Guettat
Institut Supérieur de Musique
Tunis, Tunisia

Dr. Mahmoud Zouber
Ahmed Baba Islamic Centre
Timbuktou, Republic du Mali

Dr. Manfred Kramer
Editor, Dr. Phil.
Akademische Druck u. Verlagsanstalt
Graz, Austria

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Oluş Arık
Chairman of History of Art and
Fundamental Sciences
Dil ve Tarih Coğrafya Fakültesi
Ankara, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Metin And
Chairman of Dept. of Drama
University of Ankara
Faculty of Letters
Ankara, Turkey

Mr. Mohammed Al Haroon
Chargé d'Affaires a.i.
Embassy of Bangladesh
Ankara, Turkey

Dr. Mohammad Aslam
Expert, Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Mohammed Shashen
Socialist Peoples Arab Libyan Jamahiriya
Istanbul Bureau, Istanbul

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Salah Al Mahdi
Directeur Général de la Culture
Ministere de la Culture
Tunis, Tunisie

H.E. Muhammed Abdulaziz Al Saleh
Kuwait Ambassador to Turkey
Ankara, Turkey

Mr. Muhammed Aziza
UNESCO, Division of Studies and
Dissemination of Cultures
Paris, France

Dr. Muhammed Cherifi
Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts
Alger, Algérie

Mr. Muhammed Tahiri
Consul General of Islamic Republic of Iran
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Muhammed Sijelmassi
Art Researcher
Casablanca, Maroc

Prof. Dr. Muammer Onat
Mimar Sinan University
Faculty of Architecture
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Mustafa Lütfü Bilge
Head of Islamic Research Institute
Istanbul University, Faculty of Letters
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Mustafa Haşim Altan
Cyprus Turkish National Archive and Research Centre

Mr. Mushtak Parker
News Editor, Correspondent
Arabia-Middle East Times
London, England

Prof. Dr. Nejmuddin Bammate
Enseignant a l'Universite' Paris-Sorbonne VII
Paris, France

Mrs. Nazan Tapan
Director of Turkish Islamic Arts
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Nejat Diyarbekirli
Dept. of History of Turkish Art
Mimar Sinan University
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Nevzat Yalçıntaş
Head of Research Dept.
Islamic Development Bank
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Assoc. Prof. Nevzat İlhan
Architect, Lecturer,
Dept. of Architecture and Restoration
Yıldız University
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Nuri Arlasez
Art collector
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy
Head of European Art Section,
Dept. of History of Art
Istanbul University
Faculty of Letters
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Oktay Aslanapa
Istanbul University
Faculty of Letters,
Dept. of History of Art
Istanbul, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Orhan Oğuz
Marmara University
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Othman Bin Mohd. Yatim
Curator of Oriental and Arts
Durham Hill, England

Prof. Omar Baha-ad-din Al Amiri
Ex-Chairman of High Studies
Dar-Al Hadith Al-Hasaniyah University of Rabat
Rabat, Morocco

Dr. Peter Andrews
Institute fur Volkerkunde der Universitad zu Köln
Köln, West Germany

Dr. Ramazan Şeşen
Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Raja Fuziah Bt. Raja Tun Uda
Director General, Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mr. Sadi Bayram
Ankara, Turkey

Dr. Safwan Tell
Assistant Secretary General
Association of Arab Universities
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Colonel Saim Selek
Director of Naval Museum
Istanbul, Turkey

H.E. Salah Al Sugair
Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Turkey
Ankara, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Salahuddin Al Munajjid
Member of Arab Language Academy of Cairo
Beirut, Lebanon

Prof. Dr. Salih Tuğ
Dean of Faculty of Islamic Studies
Marmara University
Istanbul, Turkey

Arch. Sami. M. Angawi
Director Hajj Research Centre der University of Umm Al Qura
Makkah Al Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Seham Al Fraih
Associate Professor, University of Kuwait
Faculty of Arts
Safat, Kuwait

Mr. Selahattin Kaya
Mufti of Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Semih Tunçman
Lecturer, Trakya University
Edirne, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Shakir Mustafa
Prof. of Islamic History
University of Kuwait,
Faculty Arts Dept. of History

Dr. Shawqi Shaa'th
Centre for Palestinian Monuments and Heritage
Damascus, Syria

Dr. Stefano Bianca
Special Adviser to Hajj Reseach Centre
Zurich, Switzerland

Dr. Süha Özkan
Tha Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Geneva, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Şerare Yetkin
Art Historian, Istanbul University
Faculty of Letters,
Dept. of Archeology and History of Art
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Şevket Rado
Istanbul, Turkey

Arch. Dr. Turgut Cansever
Istanbul, Turkey

Mr. Uğur Derman
Art Consultant, Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture
Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Ülkü Bates
Assoc. Prof., Hunter College
City University of New York
New York, USA

Prof. Dr. Ümit Serdaroğlu
Ege University
Izmir, Turkey

H.R.H. Princess Wijdan Ali
Royal Association of Fine Arts
Amman, Jordan

Mr. Yakup Üstün
Managing Director
Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı
Ankara, Turkey

Dr. Yasser Tabbaa
Assoc. Prof./Researcher
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
Cambridge, USA

Mr. Yousef Natsheh
Director, Administration of Waqf
Al Haram Al Sharif, Jerusalem
Dept. of Islamic Archaeology
Amman, Jordan

Mr. Yousouf Thannoon
Mosul, Iraq

Dr. Zeren Tanındı
Curator, Topkapı Palace Museum
Istanbul, Turkey

Mrs. Zeynep Kınık
Aga Khan Award
Istanbul, Turkey