Kazan gathers Muslim archeologists without ‘Islamic UNESCO’ participation

From 26 to 28 September, the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan hosts the Congress of Islamic Archaeologists, the very one that was postponed 'until better times' due to the Russian-Turkish 'cold war' and has recently ended successfully. However, the forum will change the status. Instead of international it will be Russian Congress with international participation. As it became known to Realnoe Vremya, despite the warming in relations between Russia and Turkey, Islamic UNESCO, that is the Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), won't be among the partners. By the way, the headquarters of IRCICA is in Istanbul.

'We are waiting for visits' confirmation'

As it became known to Realnoe Vremya, the appropriate time for the postponed Congress of Islamic Archaeology has finally been found – the event is held from 26 to 28 September and will coincide with the anniversary of the Academy of Sciences of RT. Among the Russian participants are expected to be the scientists from the Archeology Institute of RAS, the Institute of Archaeology named after A. K. Khalikov of Tatarstan AS, the Institute of Russian History of RAS, the Dagestan Scientific Center of RAS, Kazan Federal (Volga region) University, Crimean Federal University and others.

The event's status will be changed — the Congress will not be international but all-Russian. However, the status will be given due to the scientists from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. As they note in AS RT, 60 applications to participate in the event have been submitted.

The Kazan Congress was announced in 2015, and the original venue for the meeting was to become the Kazan University. Photo: kpfu.ru

'Few days left until the event, we have sent out information letters, now we are waiting for confirmations,' told the senior researcher of Institute of Archaeology named by A. Kh. Khalikov Khalim Abdullin to Realnoe Vremya, he is one of the responsible ones for conducting the Congress.

The previous congresses of Islamic Archaeology always had the international status. The first conference was held in 2005 in Istanbul (Turkey), the second — in 2011 in Islamabad (Pakistan). The Kazan Congress was announced in 2015, and the original venue for the meeting was to become the Kazan University. But then the organizer has become the Institute of Archaeology named after A. Kh. Khalikov.

'Due to the known events IRSICA will not participate'

However, the main intrigue of the Congress lies in the fact that in the list of its partners there is no Centre of Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). As you may remember, exactly due to the non-participation of IRCICA the Congress of Islamic archaeology was postponed indefinitely, it was scheduled to be held in Kazan from 17 to 18 June.

However, officially the Institute of Archaeology named after A. Kh. Khalikov explained the postponement of the conference by 'the choice of better time'. As the sources of Realnoe Vremya reported, the ban on cooperation with IRCICA was put by the security forces because of the complications of Russian-Turkish relations after the story with the downed SU-24. As you know, the headquarters IRCICA is located in Istanbul. At the same time, the ban on participation was extended personally to Director General of the organization Halit Eren.

Despite the fact that the relations between Russia and Turkey have recently improved, our sources say that this time the representatives of IRCICA were not allowed to come to Kazan. At the Institute of Archaeology they claim that the center IRCICA was not included in the list of partners by tacit consent of the organization itself.

Halit Eren visited Kazan in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2015. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

'Due to the known events the IRCICA center is not included. It happened by itself — neither we nor they did not do any statements. Apparently, both sides had an understanding of the situation,' says Halim Abdullin. In his opinion, the relations between the countries have warmed recently but we cannot speak about full restoration of contacts.

The source of RT Academy of Sciences also confirms that IRCICA just was not invited, and the alleged main reason is still the same uncompromising position of the Russian security forces.

The old friendship

Before the Russo-Turkish conflict, Kazan quite actively collaborated with IRCICA. In particular, Halit Eren visited Tatarstan in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2015 and participated in the International conference 'Great Volga Route' and the International Symposium on 'Islamic culture in Volga-Ural region'.

In June, 2006, Eren was awarded the title of honorary doctor of the Institute of History named after Sh. Mardzhani. At the same time, the center IRCICA interacted with the KFU. For example, a joint restoration and digitization of rare Oriental manuscripts of Kazan University was planned.

By Gulandam Zaripova