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A rare collection of Ottoman-era manuscripts from Cyprus is to be put on display in London at the beginning of next month.

The manucripts, dating from the 16th century onwards, will be the subject of a special exhibition to be held at the Foreign Press Association, in Carlton House Terrace, from 1st to 4th of October. They will be on display in Britain for the first time.

Known as the Foundation Registers, the manuscripts are a kind of Ottoman '"Domesday Book", which records the land, possesions and cultural artefacts of leading citizens in Cyprus after it became part of the Ottoman empire at the end of the 16th century. The registers cover the whole of Cyprus and also cover details of daily life, economic decisions, judicial matters and events in the history of the island.

Brought to London by the Vakif Foundation, the leading centre of antiquarian research in Northern Cyprus, the manuscripts have just undergone extensive repair and restoration and are an excellent example
of Turkish calligraphy from one of the Ottoman Empire's most interesting periods.

They offer a valuable insight into the multi-lingual, multi-racial social structure of the island over the past three and a half centuries and also into its religious structure. They show the island's relationship with what became a diverse and multifarious ruling Empire, ruled from what was initially the Roman, then later the Christian, centre of Byzantium, before it became the seat of the Ottoman empire.

The exhibition will be open from 1 - 4 October, at the Foreign Press Association, 11, Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Opening hours will be from 10 am to 6 pm each day.

For further information, contact:

Max de Trense, FRSA
Carteret Communications
Tel: 0207-828-8598 Mob: 07795 204078
Email: trense@gmail.com

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