Bountiful Empire and Magnificent Spice Bazaar


The London branch of Yunus Emre Institute has held the opening ceremony of the exhibition entitled "Magnificent Spice Bazaar," accompanied with a talk on the Ottoman cuisine.

Coincided with March 8 International Women's Day, the opening of the exhibition was attended by Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to London Ümit Yalçın and his wife, Yunus Emre Institute London Branch Director Mehmet Karakuş, ambassadors of Tunisia and the Philippines to London, and many local and foreign guests.

Ambassador Yalçın delivered the keynote speech of the ceremony, pointing out that Turkey's cultural wealth deserves to be underlined in every platform, including art as it is one of the most convenient venues to this end.

In his speech, Institute Director Karakuş indicated that the photographs from valuable photographers constitute the collective memory and it is a great asset to see artists from diverse ethnic origins such as Turks, Armenians, Greeks and Jews working in the same platform.

In the opening ceremony of the photography exhibition, curated by artist Terry Katalan, Harun Korkmaz sang classical Turkish music songs from the 18th century to the present day as he was accompanied by oud player Baha Yetkin.

During the event the photos showing the historical Spice Bazaar from various perspectives and as it evolves under diverse cultural and social changes were put on display, and author Priscilla Mary Işın gave a talk on her book "Bountiful Empire: A History of Ottoman Cuisine," which examines the culinary culture of the Ottoman Empire.

The photography exhibition is inspired by the Ottoman cuisine and the rich heritage of the Spice Bazaar and offers visitors a chance to see photographs of Istanbul and the Spice Bazaar, taken by a number of distinguished photographers including Ara Güler, İzzet Keribar and Ersin Alok.

The exhibition acts as a cultural bridge between London and Istanbul, bringing the colorful nature of the Turkish culture to London's art lovers, and it features photographs from Ara Güler Archive and Research Center.

Opened on Friday, March 8, the exhibition will be open to visitors at the exhibition hall of Yunus Emre Institute's London branch until March 22.