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February 28, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACTS: Dennis O'Shea
Akif Oktay, counselor,
Embassy of Turkey, 202-612-6700
Joint Press Release of the Turkish Embassy and
The Johns Hopkins University today has conveyed to the
government of the
Republic of Turkey the university's portion of the Gold Koran, a
manuscript of Islamic scripture written in gold that has been in
collections for nearly 60 years.
The Johns Hopkins University
The university's portion, comprising the first 18 suras, or
the Koran, will be returned by Turkey to the Nuruosmaniye Library
Istanbul. It will be reunited there with the remainder of the
which is separately bound.
William R. Brody, president of
the university, presented the manuscript to
the minister of culture of the Republic of Turkey, M. Istemihan
the Turkish Embassy in Washington.
"Johns Hopkins acknowledges that the rightful home of the
Gold Koran is in
the Nuruosmaniye Library in Istanbul," Brody said. "We are
restore the manuscript to the people of Turkey."
The minister said he is grateful to Johns Hopkins for
agreeing, without compensation, to Turkey's desire to reunite the
portions of a national treasure. Both the minister and Brody
their thanks to Rahmi Koc, a prominent Turkish businessman and a
of and recipient of an honorary doctorate from the university,
assistance in bringing about the return of the manuscript to
|The manuscript is written in
Kufic, an early Arabic script.
Turkey acknowledges that Johns Hopkins had no role in the
removal of the
Gold Koran from the library in Istanbul or from Turkey, which
an unknown time between inventories taken in 1756 and 1951.Turkey
acknowledged that Johns Hopkins has no knowledge of how the
manuscript came to be in the United States.
The university acquired its portion of the Gold Koran in
1942 as part of a
bequest of rare books. Since that time, the university has
preserved the book and made it available for scholars. Its value
appraised in 1998 at between 1.2 million and 1.8 million British
currently the equivalent of between $1.9 million and $2.9
- A high-resolution or JPEG image of a page
from the Gold Koran is available by e-mail. Contact Dennis O'Shea
- Background information on the
manuscript is available online.
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