Turkish government reintroduces Ottoman sultans’ signatures
Bülent Sarıoğlu ANKARA
The tughra of Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz on the gate of Istanbul University, which was founded in 1453, was recently restored after a 10-month long process, replacing the T.C. (Republic of Turkey) sign.The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has proposed a draft law that will formally re-establish the signatures of Ottoman sultans and other royal marks of the Ottoman Empire on public buildings.
A group of AKP deputies led by Zeki Aygün presented the draft law to Parliament with the approval of the party administration. The bill repeals a 1927 law that stipulated that all tughras (signature of an Ottoman sultan), Ottoman coats of arms, epitaphs and eulogiums on public buildings must be moved to museums. If the removal is potentially damaging, then the piece must be covered instead.
The AKP MPs justified the introduction of the bill on the grounds that it will mean “making peace with history” and help protect cultural heritage. The bill also calls for the Ministry of Culture to locate, restore and preserve the aforementioned artifacts that were previously moved elsewhere.
The 1927 law was practiced in the early years of the Republic, following the abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate in 1922. Like several other laws from the revolutionary period, the law had not been practiced for decades. In fact, tughras in historical buildings have already been restored, instead of moved. One example is the tughra on the gate of Istanbul University, which was recently restored.