Hüsnü Oğuz Aydemir

Oğuz Aydemir shows with great clearly that the history is in the foundation of every culture, nation and individual in the monography “Traces of Ottoman Culture in Croatia” in which he characterise and describe events that have had a direct impact on the people and culture at all levels.

Mr. Aydemir is long life entrepreneur and his socially awareness and activity in the community has been recognized in many areas. Mr. Aydemir is member of numerous non-profit organizations that actively contributes in the field of philanthropy and social responsibility.

W: How did you develop passion for study of history and culture?
Actually my passion for history and culture has always been somehow a side interest besides my very active business life in industry; a hobby to balance my life and a long term satisfaction of keeping busy. The total quality management understanding of running business also complimented the social responsibility aspect by this passion. Restoration of an old amphitheatre with thousand seats, museum formed for a well known artist painter, erecting a statute of a hero of independence, publishing prestigious books multilingual, sponsoring classic music concerts or even patronage of tribute George Gershwin concerts in Istanbul, organizing Sultan Suleiman’s mapmaker Piri Reis exhibitions in Croatia and a whole list of others are all samples of leaving footsteps behind for future.


W: What was your main motivation for publishing the monography “Traces of Ottoman Culture in Croatia”?
The Traces of Ottoman culture in Croatia (Tragovi osmanske kulture u Hrvatskoj) monograph is merely a result of quest for trying to learn the common heritage we have had in the past. While travelling within Croatia, I have seen many tangible Ottoman artefacts where information was very limited and scattered in different sources where a concise collection of them all did hardly exist. My initiative was simply to put together all what I could gather both tangible and intangible and at least even with a non-academic book. I am sure better and more concise ones will follow. Every time I am informed with a new finding of an old Ottoman structure, I feel more of strong ties existing between Croatians and Turks; likewise, learning a new common word still in use after many centuries makes me very excited.

W: Can we examine and gain new knowledge of history through these kind of projects?
Historical events of the past are being celebrated in many parts of the world today; Trafalgar, Waterloo, Anzac are some from the many where both parties make it a common strong tie from the past. Similar events are also being practised in Croatia but one sided like for example Picokijada. All of these anniversaries can attract Turkish people as well and give an opportunity to share the common heritage of many centuries. A very civilized gathering in Sinj – Sinjska alka and many others could be perfect examples of our strong connections for the future generations. The fact that during 16th century Croatian was spoken at the high Ottoman court with no translators is another forgotten aspect of the historical relations of two nations.


W: In which filed Ottoman culture left the strongest impact? Was it in language, architecture, culinary arts or something else?
Impact of Ottoman culture today is most experienced with Turkish words still in use. Others are also important maybe, but even after centuries to have words in use is very noticeable.

W: Can you describe the official relations between Croatia and turkey?
Official relations of the two nations is a special chapter of which I may not be the right address to comment but to my knowledge from the Independence day up to now Turkey was and has always been very close to Croatia.

W: Organization in which you are active are sponsors in many research projects. Can you tell us something about that projects?
Being the President of Turkish Underwater Archaeology Foundation and Director at Institute of Nautical Archaeology in Texas A&M University, we are running projects with many university students. Sometimes with patronage or sponsorship activities we support students with language courses, post graduate education opportunities, excavation or survey studies, publications ,lectures etc. We strongly believe in young generations and try to offer all sorts of opportunities for future in our field of interest.

Author: Diana Mikloš

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