Embark on a Cultural Journey: Explore the Rich Heritage of Turkey with Us!

At the School of Calligraphy and Ornamentation, we believe that true artistic inspiration knows no boundaries. Beyond our dynamic classes and immersive workshops, we offer cultural trips that broaden the horizons of both students and teachers. This year, we are thrilled to share an unforgettable journey to the mesmerizing land of Turkey, a country where ancient traditions and contemporary creativity blend seamlessly.

Our cultural trip is more than just sightseeing. It’s an opportunity to connect with local artists, learn about their unique techniques, and gain insights that will enrich your own artistic practice. 

Stay tuned for more details on our itinerary, and prepare to embark on a cultural adventure that will leave you inspired, enriched, and eager to create. Let’s discover the beauty of Turkey together and bring a piece of its rich artistic legacy back to our workshops!

A visit to IRCICA

Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by notable figures including Assistant Director General Prof. Aboubacar Abdullah Senghore, Head of Research and Publications Prof. Cengiz Tomar, and Chief of the Arts and Handicrafts Section Mr. Said Kasımoğlu. They provided us with a detailed overview of IRCICA’s initiatives, emphasizing their extensive work in the arts of the Islamic world. Special attention was given to their remarkable collections and publications on calligraphy and illumination, highlighting the intricate artistry and cultural significance of these traditions. Our hosts also shared valuable insights into IRCICA’s ongoing research, exhibitions, and educational programs, offering a thorough understanding of their dedication to preserving and promoting Islamic art.

A Journey Through Turkish Heritage

Our cultural adventure in Istanbul led us to two of the city’s most iconic landmarks: Topkapı Palace and Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). These historic sites, rich with centuries of art and culture, provided us with a profound appreciation for Turkish traditional calligraphy and the broader historical context of Islamic art.

At Topkapı Palace, the former administrative center and royal residence of the Ottoman Sultans, we were captivated by exquisite examples of traditional Turkish calligraphy. The palace’s collections include some of the finest specimens of Islamic calligraphy, many commissioned by the sultans themselves. The delicate ornamentation and precision of these works showcased the pinnacle of Ottoman artistic achievement.

Our visit included the Imperial Treasury, where beautifully adorned manuscripts and religious texts reflected the dedication to art and craftsmanship prevalent in Ottoman culture. Exploring these artifacts deepened our understanding of the historical development and cultural significance of calligraphy in the Islamic world.

Our journey continued to Ayasofya, a breathtaking monument that has served as both a cathedral and a mosque. Inside, we were awe-struck by the harmonious blend of Byzantine mosaics and Ottoman calligraphy. The grand domes and expansive walls adorned with calligraphic inscriptions revealed the historical evolution of this art form.

Particularly impressive were the large medallions inscribed with the names of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, and the early caliphs. These monumental works exemplify the integration of calligraphy into architectural spaces, showcasing the enduring legacy and adaptability of Islamic art.

Discovering Çamlıca Mosque: A Modern Marvel of Islamic Art

Our exploration of Istanbul’s cultural heritage took us to Çamlıca Mosque, a striking symbol of contemporary Islamic architecture. As one of Turkey’s largest mosques, it beautifully combines traditional Ottoman aesthetics with modern design. Inside, we visited the mosque’s museum, which showcases an impressive collection of Islamic manuscripts. The museum’s displays feature ancient Qur’an manuscripts, illuminated texts, and other priceless artifacts that reflect the meticulous craftsmanship and artistic dedication inherent in Islamic culture.

This visit provided us with a unique perspective on the continuity and evolution of Islamic art, illustrating how historical traditions are preserved and reinterpreted in a modern context. The experience at Çamlıca Mosque and its museum not only deepened our appreciation for Islamic manuscripts but also highlighted the dynamic interplay between the past and the present in the world of art.

Meeting Hasan Çelebi: An Encounter with a Master Calligrapher

Following our enlightening visit to Çamlıca Mosque, we had the extraordinary privilege of meeting Hasan Çelebi, a renowned master of Islamic calligraphy. Gathered in an intimate setting, we listened intently as he shared captivating stories of his journey in the world of calligraphy, from his early days of training to his rise as one of the most respected figures in the field.

Hasan Çelebi’s tales were filled with rich anecdotes about the history and evolution of calligraphy, providing us with deeper insights into the cultural significance and intricate beauty of this art form. He recounted his experiences with past masters, the rigorous discipline required, and the profound spiritual connection that calligraphy fosters.

Beyond sharing his personal narrative, Hasan Çelebi offered invaluable advice to our group. He emphasized the importance of patience, practice, and dedication, encouraging us to view each stroke as a reflection of our inner selves. His words inspired us to approach our craft with renewed passion and a deeper appreciation for the artistic traditions we are a part of.

Meeting Hasan Çelebi was a highlight of our cultural journey, leaving us inspired and motivated. His wisdom and guidance will undoubtedly influence our future works, as we strive to embody the same excellence and devotion that he exemplifies in his calligraphy.

Visiting the Qur’an Project: A Glimpse into Sacred Manuscripts

Our cultural journey in Istanbul culminated with a visit to the esteemed Qur’an Project, a center dedicated to the preservation and study of rare and unique versions of Al-Qur’an Al-Karim. This visit offered us an unparalleled opportunity to witness some of the most extraordinary and historically significant Qur’anic manuscripts in existence.

Upon entering the Qur’an Project, we were immediately struck by the reverence and care with which these sacred texts are treated. The collection includes one-of-a-kind manuscripts, each with its own story and historical context. Among the highlights were ancient copies of the Qur’an, meticulously preserved and adorned with stunning illuminations that exemplify the pinnacle of Islamic artistry.

Our guides at the project provided detailed explanations of the manuscripts, sharing insights into their origins, the materials and techniques used in their creation, and the historical journeys they have undergone. We learned about the various calligraphic styles employed throughout the centuries and the significance of the different scripts and embellishments used in these texts.

Reflections from Our Students: Voices from the Journey

‘’ It was a very wonderful trip that was well organized by the school administration. It was a cultural, artistic and civilizational trip that we enjoyed. We really hope to repeat these visits again ‘’

‘’ All thanks to the school administration for organizing this cultural and artistic trip, which added to my visual and artistic collection and introduced me to the types of traditional Islamic arts and their value ‘’

‘’ A very wonderful, enjoyable and rich experience full of information ‘’