Islamabad – When Turkish archaeologist Alper Yurdemi illustrated a short history of Ottoman embroideries accompanied by 400 unpublished photographs of embroideries chosen from his own collection, the patterns and motifs appeared rather similar to the Pakistani audience.
Alper Yurdemi was delivering a lecture on the topic of ‘Ottoman Embroideries, Meeting Point of Ottoman Palace and Popular Culture’ at the Heritage Museum at Lok Virsa Complex, Shakarparian. The lecture was organised by the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) in collaboration with the Turkish embassy. It was the first time Yurdemi has given a lecture outside of Turkey.
Pakistan and Turkey share similarities in arts, crafts and cultural heritage as one can easily find influence of Turkish culture in a number of Pakistani crafts such as ceramics, blue tiles, wood work and others, remarked Ms. Shahera Shahid, the Executive Director of Lok Virsa.
The year 2014 is being celebrated as Turkey – Pakistan Cultural Year and the archeology lecture is part of the celebrations. Such occasions would further strengthen the people-to-people relations between Pakistan and Turkey as both countries delightedly enjoy cordial relations and the people of both the countries consider each other as brothers, said Ms. Shahid.
In his presentation on short history of Ottoman embroideries, Alper Yurdemi also shared the results of his studies regarding embroidery techniques and materials as well as the meanings attributed to the patterns in the embroideries. The samples introduced during the lecture belong to the period between 17th and 19th centuries. Fifty of them are Ottoman Palace Embroideries.
Yurdemi was only eight years old when he first began collecting examples of Turkish handicrafts. He said it was his mother who helped and encouraged him with collection. Currently he has around 9,000 items in 17 separate collections, including 1300 items of Ottoman Embroideries which is the largest collection in Ankara. “These pieces are not just a part of Turkish culture but also a part of our global heritage” he said.
The lecture was attended by a large number of students, researchers, cultural experts from different universities as well as staffers from Turkish embassy and Lok Virsa.
Yurdemi, who studied art history and archeology at Ankara University and holds an MA in archaeology, introduced samples from the 17th to the 19th centuries, including 50 examples of Ottoman palace embroideries. “Embroidery has remained a tradition which passed from mothers to daughters,” he said.
At the end of the lecture, Yurdemi revealed that he was also writing a book on Ottoman embroideries and the meanings of the patterns in the embroideries. While showing a photograph of his son and daughter clad in embroidered clothes, he said that his seven-year-old daughter had started collecting embroidered pieces when she was five. “I hope my children take forward this heritage to the world.”