World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has agreed to declare 2013 the year of Piri Reis on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of a map he drew up that included seven continents, reported the Anatolia news agency.
A meeting was held on Tuesday by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with the attendance of Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım and Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz. Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertuğrul Günay stated that they applied to UNESCO in 2011 to receive approval for 2013 to be the year of Piri Reis and UNESCO had responded positively. The minister further stated that Reis would be promoted to younger generations through many activities such as symposiums, documentary film festivals, book launches and exhibitions both in Turkey and abroad.
Yıldırım told reporters that the map which was drawn 500 years ago is more than just a map; it is an artifact with historic, cultural and social significance and they have requested for a museum to be constructed in the Gelibolu district of Çanakkale where the map was drawn up.
Yılmaz stated that it was one of the oldest maps in the world, six pieces of which have been lost with one of the lost pieces thought to depict America.
“This map marks a significant event in the history of the country and has enabled its collective knowledge to be transmitted through generations. As a rare world map from the 15th and 16th centuries, Piri Reis World Map is an invaluable piece of the world's documentary heritage as it provides insight on the history of its time. It is therefore part of the Memory of the World and should be made better known,” stated UNESCO.
The world-renowned Ottoman captain and cartographer Reis is best known for world maps and charts collected in his “Kitab-ı Bahriye” (Book of Navigation).
UNESCO also declared 2012 the year of Ottoman musician Buhurizade Mustafa Itri on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of his death.