University of Pittsburgh
September 26, 2002

Pitt and Carnegie Mellon to Cohost Symposium on Turkish Culture, Art, and Architecture

Contact:  412-624-4147

September 27, 2002

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University will cohost a half-day symposium titled "Culture, Art, and Architecture in Ottoman Turkey" beginning at noon Monday and taking place in the University's William Pitt Union (WPU), 3959 Fifth Avenue, and Carnegie Mellon's Baker Hall, 4825 Frew Street, in Oakland.

The symposium will serve as the "kick-off" event for the design and construction of the Turkish Nationality Room in Pitt's Cathedral of Learning, placing Turkey among the 26 countries already represented in Pitt's collection of nationality rooms, all of which celebrate Pittsburgh's international heritage.

Scholars from Turkey and the United States will speak on the role Turkish culture has played on the educational, cultural, economic, and civic development of the Pittsburgh community.

Highlighting the event will be the performance of a "live documentary," which will explore the origins of such humanistic symbols as Sufism and Whirling Dervishes, and the works of Rumi, the philosopher and poet whom the Los Angeles Times called "the best selling poet in America."

A schedule of events follows:

• "Nationality Rooms and the Turkish Nationality Room," a luncheon presentation by Maxine Bruhns, director of Pitt's Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs, and Omer Akin, Carnegie Mellon professor of architecture, noon, Dining Room A, WPU;

• "The Concept of Interior Architecture in Ottoman Turkey in the

18th Century," presented by Professor Yildirim Yavuz, architectural historian and dean, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 1:15 p.m., Kurtzman Room, WPU;

• Illustrated Manuscripts from the Topkapi Palace," presented by Emine Fetvaci, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, 2:45 p.m., Kurtzman Room, WPU; and

• "Turkish Arts through the Ages: A Live Documentary with Scores of Color Slides," presented by Professor Talat Halman, director, Center for Turkish Literature, Bilkent University, Ankara, former Turkish minister of culture, and the Turkish cultural attaché to the United Nations; and Defne Basaran, radio producer for the United Nations; 4:30 p.m., Adamson Wing, Baker Hall.

The event is sponsored by Pitt's University Center for International Studies and the Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies; Turkish Nationality Room Committee; Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture and Office of the Vice Provost for Education; and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Pittsburgh Turkish American Association, Turkish American Student Association, and Assembly of Turkish American Associations.

For more information, or to make reservations, call 412/648-6262.