Yemeni-Turkish Document Exhibition: BRINGING THE PAST TO LIFE [Archives:2001/31/Last Page]

July 30 2001

Last Saturday 28 July 2001, the Yemeni-Turkish Exhibition was inaugurated at the Cultural House in Sanaa. It was opened by Prime Minister, Abdulqadir Bajammal and began with a seminar on Yemeni-Turkish cooperation in the field of historic documents.
The seminar’s focused on the first period of effective Ottoman rule in Yemen during 1538 to 1635 after Sulaiman Pasha’s invasion of the country. The speakers also gave a presentation on the second period of Ottoman rule in Yemen in the 19th century. Various achievements of the Ottoman empire in this period were introduced. The most notable efforts at modernization at this time included the maintenance and protection of sea routes, transportation, and a project to construct a railroad.
. Many of the documents had been mutually exchanged between Turkey and Yemen and present a clear picture of the condition of the Arab world at this period, especially given that most of the Arab World was under Ottoman domination well before the nineteenth century. (Significantly, the Ottoman Empire’s military and political power base was concentrated in Anatolia and the southern Balkans, while the ruling elite was principally made up of Greeks and Albanians (in addition to ethnic Turks) recruited as adolescents from regions like Macedonia (now divided between northern Greece and the Former Yugoslavia), converted to Islam, and taught the Ottoman Turkish language.)
Indexes of all the various documents were available and were divided into two categories, general and specialized. Those indexes are considered valuable in distinguishing between financial documents, maps, and endowment references.
Apart from the Ottoman documents and their indexes, the exhibition also included rare photos of Sanaa, Taiz and various other Yemeni locations taken in the 19th century. One distinct photo is that of Sanaa’s Bab Al-Yaman, which looked very different to what it is today.
The inauguration was attended by representatives of the Turkish embassy in Sanaa along with the Chairman of the National Center of Documents, while the organizer of the event was Mr. Ali Ahmed Aburrijal.