Istanbul Exhibition

Tayyip Erdogan 1001 Icat Istanbul 1001 InventionsBy personal invite from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 1001 Inventions launched the block-buster exhibition at the historic Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul on 18th August 2010.

Hot on the heels of the record-breaking residency at the London Science Museum, the global tour began with Istanbul the ideal first host city as the exhibition formed part of the ‘Capital of Culture’ programme. The 1001 Inventions exhibition was entitled ‘1001 ICAT BILIM VE TEKNOLOJININ 1000 YILLIK SERUVENI’ and given an iconic position in Sultanahmet Square, nestled in between the Hagia Sophia and the Great Blue Mosque, two of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks.

The exhibition was officially opened by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a blaze of media attention during a gala opening ceremony. The 1001 Inventions exhibition, in partnership with the Prime Ministry and sponsored by ALJ Community Initiatives, ran until the 5th of October 2010 and achieved a staggering 400,000 global visitors during its short 7 week residency.

Official Launch Event


Gala Event


TV Coverage

Library of Secrets Movie




Related Links

VIP Visitors


In the Press



Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan opens 1001 Inventions exhibition in iconic and historic part of Istanbul
(From left) Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas, Governor of Istanbul Muammar Guler, Prof. Salim Al-Hassani Chairman of FSTC, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (centre), Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel Chairman of ALJ Community Initiativessponsors of 1001 Inventions,Minister of State for Science and Technology Mehmet Aydin, Culture Minister of Kargyzstan, Chairman of Research and strategy Foundation Dr Akkan Suve

He continued: “Our aim is to improve mainstream understanding of Muslim contribution to arts, science, technology and the development of modern civilization. This unique interactive exhibition does this by bringing to a wider audience, eye-opening facts and astounding stories that impact upon us in today’s modern word”. Some of these include:



The world’s first rocket powered flight, carried out by Lagari Hasan Celebi, who soared above Istanbul’s Bosphorus strait in the 17th century



A five-metre high recreation of the ‘Elephant Clock’ produced in the 13th century by master engineer Al-Jazari in what is now southern Turkey



The story of inoculation and immunization, a concept imported from Turkey.



How the architecture of landmark buildings across Europe was inspired by architects like Sinan of Turkey.



Reproduction of the pistons-crank systems and suction pumps used by engineering pioneers like Taqi Al-Din and Al-Jazari.



Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi, the first person to successfully fly between two continents in a glider.



Şerefeddin Sabuncuoğlu, who invented numerous surgical instruments and wrote one of the first illustrated handbooks on surgery. 



How Ottoman administrators made important advances in the field of town planning.



Spa treatments developed in Turkish Hammams, which are now widely practiced around the world.



How the Turkish language inspired many English words (like “Yogurt”, “Crimson” and “Kiosk”).

To coincide with the launch, the famous book “1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage In Our World” was translated into Turkish - the first time it has been translated into another language. Visitors to the exhibition in Istanbul were the first to acquire this new edition of the publication.

The entire exhibition was produced in dual language, both English and Turkish so that local visitors and international tourists could enjoy the experience side-by-side.

Many of the historic facts highlighted within the exhibition have a special resonance with the history of Turkey and the Ottoman period.

The flagship best-selling book was produced for the Turkish market and titled:  “1001 İcat: Dünyamızda İslam Mirası”.

Such was the demand for this book, it was produced in both hardback and paperback versions and sold out within the first four weeks, requiring a reprint of thousands of more books to supply demand. It was on sale within the exhibition store and is still selling throughout Istanbul in all good book stores.

The book is also available online and can be purchased by clicking here

Watch – ‘1001 Inventions and The Library of Secrets’ film in Turkish

This amazing, multi-award winning, mini feature film starring Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley, was dubbed into Turkish with English subtitles to appeal to both local and international visitors. Once again it was shown inside the exhibition in a dedicated cinema screening area for all visitors to watch and used as an orientation piece to prepare them for the main exhibition.  

VIP Visitors to the Exhibition

During the exhibition’s seven week residency in Istanbul, we hosted visits from numerous VIP’s and distinguished guests from the world of education, tv, science and international governments. This included the Turkish President Abdullah Gull, Governor of Istanbul Muammar Guler, Sara Lee Schupf, Princess Zeynep Osman, Moussa Dosso Minsiter from the Ivory Coast and many more.

The interest and plaudits from all these individuals were highly complimentary and supportive of our aims and objectives for this ground breaking educational project and global tour. They expressed their sincere gratitude to us for bringing the exhibition to Istanbul and allowing the people of Turkey to enjoy it and discover more about their history.

Gala Event & Handover from Istanbul to New York

A special invite only gala event was held on Friday 1st October 2010 to collectively celebrate the phenomenal success of the 1001 Inventions exhibition in Istanbul and to ceremonially handover the exhibition to New York. The gala was held in a specially constructed marquee to the rear of the exhibition with special guests Dr. Margaret Honey and Sara Lee Schupf flying in from New York to accept the symbolic gesture. Other invited guests included the Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas and numerous dignitaries and personalities from the world of academia, science, TV and government.

Click here to read full press release...

As part of the unique gala celebrations, the highlight of the evening was a specially constructed ride recreating the "Hezarfen Adventure", an astounding visitor attraction installed in Sultanahmet Square outside the exhibition, which allowed guests to experience the historic city of Istanbul from a height of 70 metres (230ft) on a skylift. The bird's eye view offered visitors the chance to see the city from a similar height to that experienced by Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi when he launched his flying machine over Istanbul almost 400 years ago.

Watch – Video of the Celebi Skyride:

More Photos

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1001 Inventions launched the block-buster exhibition at the historic Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul   1001 Inventions launched the block-buster exhibition at the historic Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul        


In the Press

11/08/10 Hür Haber   11/08/10   11/08/10 Milliyet Cadde
11/08/10 Haber Türk   11/08/10   11/08/10 Taraf
11/08/10 Takvim   11/08/10 Samanyolu Haber   11/08/10 Sabah
11/08/10 Radikal   11/08/10 İstanbul Net   10/08/10 Hürriyet
10/08/10 Risale Haber   10/08/10   10/08/10 Takvim Online
10/08/10 Zaman Online   10/08/10 Zaman   10/08/10 Dünya Bülteni

Online Press Coverage:

30/08/10 Muslim Voice   27/08/10 Muslim Heritage   26/08/10 San Francisco Chronicle
26/08/10 Hindustan Times   26/08/10 Today's Zaman   25/08/10 Washington Post
17/08/10 Sabah English   17/08/10 Middle East Online   17/08/10 Nature Blog
16/08/10 SE Times   16/08/10 On Islam   11/08/10 Balkan Travellers
11/08/10 World Bulletin   11/08/10 Today's Zaman   10/08/10 Republic of Turkey

Click here for more press coverage

TV Broadcast Coverage: Selected Videos  

TRT English Broadcast

Channel 7 Turkish Broadcast

CNN Turk Broadcast

Click here for more TV Broadcast Coverage

Related Links

► Global Press Coverage of Istanbul Launch

► Turkish PM visits the exhibition in London

► Muslim Heritage Awareness Network Turkey

► Washington DC Exhibition

► Dhahran Exhibition

California Exhibition

Abu Dhabi Exibition

Arabick Roots Exhibition

New York Exhibition  

London Exhibition


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