International Symposium on Modern Techniques of Transport and Communication in the Muslim World, organised by IRCICA in cooperation with the Turkish Society for History of Science, Istanbul, 3-5 April 1989

This was the second meeting in the series of international symposia on the history of science, jointly organised by IRCICA and the Department of History of Science, Faculty of Letters, Istanbul University. The symposium took place at IRCICA's conference hall at Çit Qasr. The Ministry of Transport of Turkey, the Directorate General of Posts, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT) and the PTT Museum, the Directorate General of State Railways and the State Maritime Lines Co. actively contributed to the organisation of the symposium. 35 papers were presented during the three-day meeting, before an audience of scholars and researchers engaged in the study of the history of science in the Muslim world.

The symposium was inaugurated on 3 April by Dr. Ertan Yülek, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Transport of Turkey. Dr. Yülek underlined the crucial place of means of transportation and communication in the development of any country. He gave a brief overview of the development of these sectors in the Ottoman period and thanked the organisers of the symposium for their initiative to hold a scholarly meeting in this field.
Prof.Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, Dean of the Faculty of Letters of Istanbul University declared that the Faculty gives great importance to history of science as a field of study and to this series of symposia as a scholarly activity. She emphasized the necessity of having regular meetings of this kind among researchers working in this field. Then, IRCICA Director General Prof.Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu welcomed the participants and guests. He gave the guidelines and frame of reference of the symposium theme and a brief overview of the development of transportation and communications in the Ottoman State. Following the inaugural ceremony, an exhibition of old communication equipment was opened in the same building. The exhibition was organised by the PTT Museum as a contribution to the symposium. It included samples of the first telegraph and telephone equipment used in the past century, mail bags and other accessories used by the couriers, old photographs showing the first post office buildings and couriers with their uniforms, among others. The exhibition also comprised the newest communications equipment, to show the technological progress achieved in this area. Envelopes bearing a special stamp prepared for the symposium were sold by the PTT as a souvenir item.

The following list gives the titles of the papers presented during the symposium. IRCICA published the proceedings in the form of a book under the title
Mustafa Kaçar: "Ottoman Telegraph Administration"

Yücel Özkaya: "The Menzil organisation in the Ottoman State in the 18th century"

Second Session
Chairman: Mihail Guboğlu

Aliye Önay: "Establishment of the first telephone system in Turkey"

Zafer Toprak: "Passage from organic energy to inorganic energy in the Ottoman communication and transportation sectors"

Edip Özkale: "Hamidiye-Hejaz Railway and technical issues"

Beyhan Atmaca: "First agreement about the telegraph"

Third Session
Chairman: Halil Sahillioğlu

Mihail Guboğlu: "Black Sea-Danube canal projects in the Ottoman Empire (1836-1876) and first railway between Köstence and Boğazköy (1855-1860)"

Mübahat Kütükoğlu: "Ottoman Steamships Company and the Izmir Bay Hamidiye Company"

Paolo Cuneo: "An architectural celebration of the Ottoman telegraph: the Rostal Column by Raimondo erected in Damascus for the inauguration of the line Hejaz"

Tuesday, 4 April
First Session
Chairman: Abdulaziz Awad

Ercüment Kuran: "Maritime transport in the Ottoman State in the 19th century: foundation and activities of İdare-i Mahsusa"

Şükran Eryılmaz: "PTT Museum in Ankara"

Mücteba İlgürel: "Attempts to establish the technology of the steamship in the Ottoman State"

Nezih Başgelen: "An interesting transportation line in Istanbul in the second half or 19th century: scheduled boat trips from Galata bridge to Yeşilköy"

Second Session
Chairman: J. Paul Luft

Z. H. Zaidi: "Hejaz Railroad"

Ali Akyıldız: "İzmir-Aydın Railway"

Cemil Öztürk: "The Haydarpaşa-İznik Railway as a State enterprise in the Tanzimat period (1871-1888)"

Third Session
Chairman: Mücteba İlgürel

Kazım Çeçen: "Rail transport in the Ottoman period"

Selim İlkin: "The introduction of the use of cars in long-distance road transport"

Musa Çadırcı: "Road transport in the Tanzimat period (1840-1876)"

Bünyamin Duran: "Period of modernization in road transport in the Ottoman State (1880-1814)"

Fourth Session
Chairman: Zafer Toprak

Kazım Arısan: "Urban transport in Istanbul in the past centuries"

Cumhur Odabaşıoğlu: "Transit transport between Trabzon and Iran, until 1923"

J.P. Luft: "Power politics and railways construction in Western Iran in the late 19th and the early 20th century"

Semavi Eyice: "Two communication projects in the Ottoman State in the past century"

Wednesday, 5 April
First Session
Chairman: Mübahat Kütükoğlu

Ali İhsan Gencer: "Construction of the first horse-driven tramcar in Istanbul"

Feza Günergun: "Attempts to operate steam-driven tramcars in the Ottoman State"

Second Session
Chairman: Dr. Hidayet Yavuz Nuhoğlu

Emre Dölen: "The undertaking of the Boğaziçi Tunnel early 20th century and Ahmed Besim Paşa"

Y. Kahya-G. Tanyeli: "Bridges on the Golden Horn and their effects to city transport"

Third Session
Chairman: Z.H. Zaidi

Afife Batur: "Architectural activities in the Ottoman Empire due to the establishment of the telegraph lines"

Uğur Tanyeli: "The Ottoman city transport organisation and its Westernization-a techno-cultural evaluation"

Abdul Aziz Awad: "Communications in Bilad Al-Sham in the second half of the nineteenth century"

Fourth Session
Chairman: Kemal Beydilli

Nil Sarı: "Transportation of ill people in the Ottoman State"

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu: "Aviation in the Ottoman State"