x0x Turkish nationality room to debut at cathedral
Turkish nationality room to debut at cathedralPhotosclick to enlarge
Guide gets first look
Andrew Russell | Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviewclick to enlarge
Andrew Russell | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Sean Caulfield gazed at the room as if he'd been transported to Istanbul's outdoor markets, minarets and hookah bars.
"It's great. This room is so different from the other Nationality Rooms here at Pitt," said Caulfield, 19, of Plum, a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, while looking at the Turkish Nationality Room on Friday. It is the 28th and latest of the Nationality Rooms in the school's landmark Cathedral of Learning.
Designed by Omer Akin, professor of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University since 1977, the room is a "main room" in a traditional Turkish house, with seating along the walls. It will be dedicated on Sunday at a ceremony attended by Namik Tan, Turkey's ambassador to the United States.
The room features a large mural of Istanbul, four ceramic panels depicting life in Turkey in the ninth, 14th and 16th centuries. One panel is a life-size scene from 1928 with Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey, instructing the Turkish nation on the Latin alphabet that was adopted as the country's legal script in the 1920s.
The room includes intricate native woodwork and a window designed by master artisans in Turkey. The window is glazed, with lead glass panels embellished with a stylized tulip pattern. The tulips reference the imperial flower of early-18th century Ottomans, an empire that lasted from 1299 to 1923 and whose rule extended from Turkey into Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
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