Ferman collection on view in London

Ferman collection on view in London

Niki Gamm ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Ferman collection on view in London

Remzi Gür is seen at the opening ceremony of the exhibit in London. AA photo

Remzi Gür, chairman of Gürmen Group, will display his special collection of imperial orders from Ottoman sultans, called fermans and berats, at the Yunus Emre Cultural Center in London through Dec. 10.

The highly successful businessman started collecting fermans and berats of Ottoman sultans in 1999. Gür told Hurriyet Daily News that 36 of the Ottoman sultans had produced fermans (edicts) and berats (imperial warrants) that could be found in various countries of the world.

At the moment he has nearly 150 works from 26 to 28 sultans in his collection. Gür’s collection spans 420 years, from the 1500s to the 1920s. “It sheds light on history and includes clues related to some very special developments in history. These are not just works of art or historical documents, but their survival until today is important for Turkish cultural, military and social life.”

Magnificance of period

According to Gür, every one of the works in his collection has its own particular value. Some are attractive because of the way the language is used or because of their content. “The writing and language in the fermans reflect the magnificence of the period,” Gür said. “The paper, ink and writing carry artistic value. In some fermans in the collection the sultan himself was directly involved.”

Gür said these fermans contained important information related to the period in which they were written, including the state administration, culture, social, commercial and military life. As an example, Gür described the ferman of Sultan Selim III in 1790 in which the sultan appointed Sahila Hanim to take up the duty of cleaning and repairing the mescid of the Prophet Mohammad in Mecca after the death of Hafiz Ibrahim, who had been looking after it. His collection also contains fermans from Fatih Sultan Mehmed and Kanuni Sultan Suleyman.

Gür said he has plans to open a museum for his collection in Istanbul some time in the future.