Istanbul’s sultans in Amsterdam

For the next four months, Istanbul is the guest of De Nieuwe Kerk, an historic church and one of Amsterdam’s leading art centers.

An exhibition, ‘Istanbul: The City and the Sultan’, illustrating Ottoman culture through the history of Istanbul, is bringing together some 300 objects, mainly from Topkapı Palace, with others from the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, Sadberk Hanım Museum and Sabancı Museum. The exhibition, opened on 14 December by the Dutch Queen Beatrix in a ceremony also attended by Tourism Minister Atilla Koç, includes portraits of the sultans, the sacred relics of the Prophet, caftans, carpets, gifts presented to the sultans, scholarly and literary works, calligraphy, paintings and miniatures depicting historical events, tiles, mystical objects, water pipes and musical instruments. The objects, in a design by Kossman & De Jong Exhibition Architects inside the magnificent medieval church, are divided into 12 different categories: Bazaar, Coffeehouse, Bathhouse, Wooden Villas, Cemetery, Mosque, Tekke, Library, Life in Topkapı Palace, Dutch at the Court, In the Heart of the Palace, and the Harem. Headphones are available with exhibition tours in various languages; the Turkish version is by Turkish pop ‘diva’ Sezen Aksu. Films, interviews and other special activities are being organized throughout the exhibition, which runs through 15 April. For further details, visit the website, www.nieuwekerk.nl.
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