Jerusalem and Istanbul on the Same Canvas


Organized by Yunus Emre Enstitüsü in collaboration with Zeytinburnu Municipality, the exhibition titled "My Cities" by young artist Sündüs Recebi from Jerusalem, met with art lovers. The opening ceremony of the exhibition that features works which reflect the beauty and similarities of the two cities, was held on Tuesday, January 9th at Zeytinburnu Culture and Art Centre.

Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş made a speech in the ceremony. He underlined that the bridges between countries are built through art, and the Enstitü with a focus on human, aims to reach people by contacting art and culture centres, to reinforce the connection with world people, and the exhibition by the young artist from Jerusalem is one of the best examples to this.

Reminding that the Yunus Emre Enstitüsü centre in Jerusalem opened two years ago, Ateş said,  "Especially the state of Masjid al-Aqsa, the ruined tiles there saddened us. So we started to think of a way to restore these tiles dating back to the Ottoman period, and developed a project. We brought artists to Turkey in collaboration with İznik Foundation to train tile masters from Jerusalem.”

Stating that artist Sündüs Recebi was among the artists who came to Turkey to receive training, Ateş continued his speech as follows:

“At the end of culture and art activities we carried out as the Enstitü, our artist painted two cities with deep-rooted histories, Jerusalem and Istanbul in these painting. It is significant for us that an artist we invited to Istanbul admired and painted Istanbul, and presented these works to art lovers. It means a great deal to us to bring the countries closer through art, shared by people with people. At the end of our efforts in line with this goal, we will open our second centre in Ramallah in Jerusalem.”

"Jerusalem brought to Zeytinburnu"

Zeytinburnu Mayor Murat Aydın who spoke at the exhibition opening, stated that "My Cities" exhibition opened at a right and meaningful time, embraces Jerusalem and Istanbul, and expressed the following: "Our artist brother from Jerusalem, brought the wistful and grieving city of Jerusalem, the birthplace of civilization, to Zeytinburnu and our cultural centre, and his works are very important for us.”

"The beauty of Jerusalem and Istanbul is too immense to be illustrated on the canvas"

Painter Sündüs Recebi underlined that there is a profound connection between Istanbul and Jerusalem, and that he attempted to illustrate this connection in his paintings. Recebi marked that he completed 28 paintings in a period of six months which do not adequately represent the beauty of Jerusalem and Istanbul however he did his best. He also expressed that exhibiting his paintings in Turkey and in his beloved Istanbul was a source of great pride and joy for him.

Curated by Mehmet Lütfi Şen, the exhibition titled "My Cities" can be visited until January 30th.

Who is Sündüs Teysir Zekeriyya Recebi?

Artist Sündüs Teysir Zekeriyya Recebi was born in Jerusalem in 1991. He completed his primary and secondary education here. In 2014, he completed his graduate studies at Nablus Necah University Department of Plastic Arts, and later studied photography. In 2017, he came to Iznik to work on ceramics and tile art. Recebi returned to Jerusalem and completed his apprenticeship in tile and mosaic restoration of Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem Islamic Foundations Chamber. Sündüs Teysir, a versatile artist who has been  painting since elementary school, also worked as an artist assistant, art teacher, and in the field of mosaic restoration after graduating from the Academy of Plastic Arts.

Painter Recebi received an award in 2016 in the contest titled “Ribat Youth Capital" organized in Morocco. The first overseas exhibition of the artist who mainly makes tiles, mosaics and paintings at his own studio in Jerusalem, is organized in Turkey at Istanbul Zeytinburnu Culture and Art Centre.