Presentation details
Typographic examination of Ottoman and contemporary Turkish tombstones

Caglar Okur

Sunday 16 September | 10:45 – 11:15
Location: Seminar Room 202

Presentation | Theme: Hand made | Duration: 30 minutes

Humankind has tried to immortalize itself since prehistoric times by building permanent monuments, the tombstones. These monuments demonstrate and perpetuate the tombstone owner’s existence and status to subsequent generations. The function of the tombstones may change under different religious beliefs. For instance, deluxe tombstones are not tolerated in Islam because they indicate mankind’s pride. However, the Ottomans tried to design more personal and stylish tombstones, especially from the beginning of 15th century onward. The Ottomans created tombstones that are accepted as artworks by using different kinds of calligraphy, such as Kufi, Nesih, and Sulus. The common features of the Ottoman tombstones are as follows: beginning with begging and end with a prayer named “Fatiha;” symbols of the formal body; and carving of a cap-shape called “serpus” on the top of the tombstone to specify the owner’s status. Over time the Ottoman tombstones departed from religious context and turned to personal monuments that emphasized biography, status and career. As the “Latin alphabet” took place of the “Ottoman alphabet” after the collapse of Ottoman Empire and the birth of the Republic of Turkey, our tombstone heritage unfortunately tends to be forgotten. The tombstones’ monumental manner gave us new typographic forms, symbols and stone shapes. The aim of my research is to explore and manifest the effects of Ottoman tombstones on present-day Turkish tombstones.

Speaker details

Caglar Okur Research assistant Anadolu University | Turkey

Caglar Okur was born in 1976, in Turkey. He received his BFA Degree in 2000, from Bilkent University Graphic Department and his MFA degree from Eskisehir Anadolu University Graphic Department in 2003. His thesis is titled “The Effects of Experimental Typography on Visual Communication.” He continues his PhD and works as a research assistant at Anadolu University in the Graphic Design Department. Several of his works have been exhibited in international poster biennials and triennials such as The First International Korean Poster Biennial 2002, Ekoplagat Poster Triennial 2005 and 2006, Triennial of Eco Posters and Graphics Art, and "The 4th Block," Kharkov, Ukraine, 2006. He receıved an honorable mention from the 2nd F.I.S.A.E. International CGD Ex-libris Contest.

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