The machines in Kitab al-Hiyal, a book written by al-Jazari (Anatolia’s greatest inventor in the 13th century and chief engineer of the Artuqid palace for 26 years), were displayed to visitors at the Istanbul Jazari Museum in its “Jazari’s Extraordinary Machines” exhibition, for which the museum was awarded the Fuat Sezgin Special Corporate Award by the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA). The museum also presented working versions of al-Jazari’s machines at Istanbul’s UNIQ Expo from February to August 2019.
Reflecting science and art as a whole, the exhibition welcomed one hundred thousand visitors. This was the world’s first exhibition on the work of al-Jazari, and it was a significant success for the museum as well.
In his opening speech at 2019 awards ceremony of TUBA and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), held at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that scientists’ greatest legacy is the work they leave behind, the impact of their research on society, and the students they educate. Thanks to the encouragement and appreciation of the members of TUBA, and in conjunction with President Erdogan’s declaring 2019 the “Professor Fuat Sezgin Year,” the Istanbul Jazari Museum was awarded the Fuat Sezgin Special Corporate Award at the ceremony.
Accepting the award on behalf of the museum, Dr. Ahmet Selami Caliskan, chairman of the museum’s board of directors, said, “We brought our exhibition to life, the product of 15 years of rigorous work, in February 2019, and it was met with huge interest. It is a source of pride for us that the most magnificent science museum in our country has been honored with such an award and that the contributions of my father, Durmus Caliskan, a mechanical engineer, have been recognized.”
Also speaking at the ceremony, the exhibition curator, Mehmed Ali Caliskan, said, “It is a great honor for us to embrace a treasure like Jazari, to introduce visitors to all the innovations he brought to mechanics and to increase awareness about him. I would like to add that we accept this beautiful award today on behalf of all the people who have worked with and supported us along the way, particularly my father, Durmus Caliskan. On behalf of the Istanbul Jazari Museum, I would also like to thank all visitors who honored our exhibition with their curiosity.”