Exposition fever extended to the Ottoman Empire and Egypt in the mid nineteenth century. Ottoman had the first exhibition in 1863 at Istanbul and the second one planned in 1894 failed due to an earthquake in the same year. In Egypt, the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 characterized international fairs. For both countries restructuring efforts aimed at making them part of the modern civilization.
The 1863 Ottoman exposition indicated the willingness to become part of the modern civilization (Elik & Celik,1992, p.139). It took place in Sultan Abdulaziz reign, characterized by intense westernizing reforms and much city building (Elik & Celik, 1992, p.139). Abdulaziz visit to Paris Universal Exposition in 1867 demonstrates the personal interest in these events (Elik & Celik, 1992, p.139). The Ottoman 1863 Exposition borrowed heavily from western exhibitions with goals more linked to national industry promotion (Elik & Celik, 1992, p.140).
On the other hand, Istanbul Exposition,1894 aimed at promoting the development of the wealth and wellbeing of the country (Elik & Celik, 1992, p.142). The exhibition had educational, social and recreational benefits (Elik & Celik, 1992, p.142). Foreigners sat at the committee in organizing the exhibition. The plan for the exhibition was ambitious and seen as an arena of architectural experimentation (Elik & Celik, 1992, p.144).
The author presents the exposition with evidence from the two scenarios. Real examples are used to demonstrate the expositions and their benefits. Also, the author compares the exposition in both cases. In the case of Istanbul exhibition, the concern of the architectural style is addressed by studying "Ottoman architecture science". The author explains universal exposition and how the advancements of communication and infrastructure such as the Suez Canal contributed to the growth of the economy and encompass the globe.
THE OTTOMAN EXPOSITION, 1863
Why were Europeans invited to participate?
Although the Ottoman expositions were initially conceived as national display the Europeans were encouraged to participate as they were assumed to have the most advanced machines and tools (Elik & Celik, 1992, p.140).
OPENING OF THE SUEZ CANAL, 1869
Why were the Suez Canal and its opening so important globally?
It highlighted Egypt's importance to European trade. Besides, it provided much easier access between England and India. The global goal was to ensure goods could circulate freely throughout the world and encourage worldwide industrialization. It also regularized old fabrics in Cairo and saw new quarters built in Haussmannian manner. further, New social norms and cultural customs were imported from Europe.
Elik, Zeynep C., and Zeynep Celik. Displaying the Orient: architecture of Islam at nineteenth-century world's fairs. Vol. 12. Univ of California Press, 1992.
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