The meeting reflects on East and West relations between the Ottoman Empire and Europe over the centuries focusing on Venice and the University of Padua with Istanbul and The Levant. The meeting at the Italian Cultural Centre Institute in Istanbul on May 23 includes the University of Padua Professor of Eastern European History, Egidio Ivetic.
Salvatore Schirmo (Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Istanbul) offers introductions, followed by talks from Prof Ivetic, Mustafa Soykut (Professor at the Middle East Technical University), and Paolo Girardelli (Professor at Boğaziçi University) on the profound influence by Italian culture in Turkey over the centuries with a focus on the role of Venice and the University of Padua.
Becoming a contact for mediation with the Ottoman Empire from 1453 to 1797, the Venetian Republic relied on the University of Padua as the academic and intellectual centre of the Republic to train its ruling class.
Padua had influenced relations between Turkey and Italy along the routes taken from Istanbul and The Levant toward Italy. Ottoman diplomatic interpreters called “Dragomans” studied and educated themselves in Padua and Italian became the official language used to communicate political and commercial exchanges by the Ottoman Empire throughout the Mediterranean from 1600 until the Unification of Italy in 1861.
The journey between the East and the West begins at the Italian Cultural Institute in Istanbul, which, departing from Venice and Padua, reached Turkey to investigate and deepen their complex and fascinating cultural exchange.
The event, which is part of the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the University, include a series of meetings at Italian cultural institutes and consulates held abroad organized by Unipd.