Turkish Jewish Museum welcomes Umberto Eco
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Eco was interested in the honor corner, which displays Turkish passports that Turkish diplomats used to rescue Jewish academics from camps in Europe. AA photoUmberto Eco visited Istanbul’s Quincentennial Turkish Jewish Museum during his trip to Istanbul. Eco met with the founder of the museum, Naim Güleryüz, and Eco’s wife, Renate Ramge, also accompanied them. Eco was interested in the honor corner, which displays Turkish passports that Turkish diplomats used to rescue Jewish academics from concentration camps in Europe. The Jewish academics are commemorated with a display in the museum.
Another interesting object for Eco was a book that was published in Istanbul in 1512, “Complete Works of an Epic: Midrash Tehillim.” The work was found in Germany and put in the museum.
After the museum visit, Eco said education made people read. Noting that education is something that develops and evolves over time, Eco said it was different now compared with 70 years ago. “Today young people are experiencing huge amnesia,” said Eco, adding that they did not know history. “During my time they told people to tell the recent history. Today it is the opposite.”
“In the academic papers that are published in the States we see that the references are from [the last] 10 years and not older. This means we are only dealing with the sayings of the last 10 years.” Over the last 20 years he has explained his thoughts on the clash of civilizations, Eco said, adding that this discussion came to the scene with the “end of history.” This approach was not right, according to Eco. The discussions of the conflicts of the Islamic and Western civilizations have normalized the conflict between Western and Eastern civilizations,” Eco said. The fundamentalists in both worlds have done this, he added and said Turkey was the best example of bringing the civilizations together and living together. Eco came to Istanbul to attend a seminar titled “A Dialogue on Facts, Fiction, History.”