Turkey

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Cultural heritage

Why we should be concerned about President Erdogan turning museums into mosques

Hagia Sophia and the Chora Church will remain “open to all”, Turkish government promises—but restricted access may not be the primary worry

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Museums & Heritage

First Hagia Sophia, now Turkey's 'Sistine Chapel of Byzantium' will be turned back into mosque

The 14th-century mosaics at Chora Church—which was converted to a museum in 1945—risk being covered up and remaining part-restored

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Hagia Sophia

Russia to fund small-scale replica Hagia Sophia in Syria that will be used as a church

Tactical move comes after Turkish president ordered historic Istanbul site to be turned into a mosque

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Conservation & Preservation

Turkish government on collision course with Unesco over turning Hagia Sophia into mosque

President Erdogan’s plans to convert the museum have drawn fire from Greece and the US

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Museums & Heritage

Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture plagued by delays after top curators quit

Turkey’s national modern art collection, closed off for much of its 80-year existence, will be hard-pressed to open $25m new building this year

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British Museum

British Museum mistakenly cites ‘all rights reserved’ as biggest postcard producer in Turkey

The error comes as the London institution launches a revamped version of its online catalogue

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coronavirus

Virus outbreak delays restoration of Turkey’s Grand Bazaar

The price of gold has also spiked amid scarcity of the precious metal due to the closure of the World Heritage listed market

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coronavirus

Turkish government slammed for crowds at heritage sites as ticket collector reportedly dies from coronavirus

Worker at Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace is believed to have contracted Covid-19, leading state to be criticised for not closing tourist attractions quick enough

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Imprisoned artists

Kurdish artist Fatos Irwen released from Turkish jail after more than three years

Irwen was sentenced in 2016 on charges that included resisting the police at a protest she attended in 2013

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Turkey

Scribbled with a prison pen: detained Turkish designer's drawings go on show in New York

Washington Post design director tweets support for Fevzi Yazici who made the works in solitary confinement at Silivri Prison

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Turkey

Court ruling converting Turkish museum to mosque could set precedent for Hagia Sophia

Decision that Kariye Museum must become a Muslim house of worship again could imperil its Byzantine art and have repercussions for other early Christian monuments

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Contemporary Istanbul

Contemporary Istanbul chairman ‘rethinking fair’s governance’ following ‘inappropriate’ comments over Turkey’s military action

Ali Gureli apologises for accusing foreign media of spreading propaganda, but it is not yet clear if he will step down

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Climate Change

Art world impact just 'a drop in the ocean': Istanbul biennial curator takes on climate crisis

Nicolas Bourriaud examines the Anthropocene in 16th edition of the exhibition and says the “real issue is mass tourism"

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Turkey

'Game-changer' museum to open in Istanbul in time for city's biennial

Turkish non-profit contemporary art space Arter is relocating to a state-of-the-art exhibition space in Dolapdere district

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Monuments

Erdogan says museum and former cathedral Hagia Sophia will become a mosque again

The Turkish president wants the monument to serve as a place of worship flouting international pressure to retain the site’s current neutral status

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Turkey

Turkish photojournalist Cagdas Erdogan to stand trial on terrorism charges

The Kurdish freelance photographer is accused of creating propaganda for an outlawed separatist group

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Major museum designed by V&A Dundee's architects to open in Turkey

Odunpazari Modern Museum designed by Kengo Kuma, which will show the collection of architect Erol Tabanca, will open in the university city of Eskişehir in June

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Censorship

Turkish artist Zehra Dogan is released from prison after more than two years

The journalist, accused of spreading propaganda, was backed by Banksy

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Conservation & Preservation

Turkey's Göbekli Tepe: is this the world’s first architecture?

Scholars say the organisation needed to build the 12,000-year-old temple may mark the beginnings of class society and patriarchy

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Banksy

Imprisoned Turkish artist Zehra Dogan smuggles thank-you letter to Banksy

Bristolian street artist unveiled New York mural in March in protest against her arrest

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Politics

Turkish artist Zehra Dogan continues to paint on scrap paper from prison

She was sentenced to jail for "spreading terrorist propaganda" after posting a painting depicting a Kurdish town draped in Turkish flags

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Biennials & festivals

Contemporary art biennial returns to Mardin in Turkey after three-year hiatus

Event resumes in the ancient city in the country’s south-east corner after years of tumult

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Biennials & festivals

Elmgreen & Dragset bring a bit of Istanbul Biennial to Germany

Curators of this year’s show, with the theme of home and neighbourhoods, show key works at Munich museum

Archive
March 2015

Turkish president appeals ruling that he must pay damages to artist

Mehmet Aksoy's Monument to Humanity was razed by local council after Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it a "monstrosity"

Archive
Restitution

V&A is willing to lend its fragment to reunite it with the Sidamara Sarcophagus in Istanbul

Turkish tomb could regain long-lost head

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Restitution

Playing hardball with soft power on restitution claims

Western museums are feeling the pressure over restitution claims from China, Turkey and Cambodia

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Cambodia

Western museums under pressure from China, Turkey, and Cambodia to fulfil restitution claims

The number of artefacts under restitution claims is rising

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Restitution

Turkey says return objects or forget loans

Roman and Ottoman-era exhibitions will suffer as US and European museums face tougher calls for restitution

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Restitution

Turkey turns up the heat on foreign museums as list of antiquities demanded gets longer

More exhibitions are hit by the loans boycott as Turkey pushes for restitution

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Publications

Ottoman perspectives

This original and brilliant book describes how Western archaeology and archaeologists appeared to Turkish eyes.

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Restitution

Met faces claims for Hittite artefacts

Provenance of late trustee’s gifts investigated as Turkey takes tougher line on restitution

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Restitution

Turkey blocks loans to US and UK in a restitution dispute

Multiple claims for antiquities at New York’s Met, major exhibitions hit at London’s British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum

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Artist interview

Interview with Mike Nelson: On the biennale, Turkey, and being “not quite sure what installation is…”

His work at the Venice Biennale has meant rebuilding an installation inside a rebuilt caravanserai within the British Pavilion

Archive
November 2010

US museums receive surfeit of patronage for Islamic art collections

But Arab donors are in scarce supply, while Turks, Iranians and others spend freely

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Istanbul Biennial

The Istanbul Biennial looks east (Eastern Europe, that is)

The Turkish capital has curators, collectors and galleries⁠—if the government pitches in, it could become the leading destination for contemporary art in the Middle and Near East

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Environment

Government looks to China as Europe suspends funding for Ilisu dam

Authorities fail on environmental and social impact conditions

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Salvador Dalí

First Dalí exhibition in Turkey

The Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul is holding the first ever retrospective devoted to the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí in a Muslim country

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Restitution

Turkey claims stele in British Museum

Despite a lack of evidence suggesting that the basalt stele was excavated illegally, the Turkish government are making a bid to regain the artefact

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Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy and Tate exhibitions heading for top attendance

“Turks: A journey of a thousand years 600-1600” and “Turner, Whistler, Monet” have been wildly successful

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Restitution

Potential changes to state law could affect claims relating to Armenian massacres

Californian law may make restitution harder

Archive
Antiquities & Archaeology

Austrian support for the Kurds leads to friction over archaeology

Austrian support for the Kurds leads to friction over archaeology