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Dr Beata Nykiel at the 17th International Congress of Turkish Art

Galata Tower.

At the 17th International Congress of Turkish Art, Dr. Barbara Nykiel will give a lecture on the production of fezes. The Congress is a prestigious, interdisciplinary event dedicated to the study the culture of the former Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. This year, it will be held from 18 until 21 September in Warsaw, hosted by the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów and the University of Warsaw.


The lectures planned for the Congress will discuss the art of the Middle East, Balkans, Iran, and Central Asia, focusing on its different aspects: architecture, painting, ceramics, textiles, but also weaponry, and sepulchral art. The researchers study the mutual cultural influence of the Ottoman Empire and countries of Middle and South-East Europe, with a special interest in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. This Congress aims to popularize Turkish art and create a forum to share experiences between specialists in different fields: museology, librarianship, and archival science.


Dr. Beata Nykiel’s lecture, titled: “Central Europe as Centre of the Ottoman Fez Production,” focuses on the production of fez, iconic Turkish hats in the shape of a truncated cone. In the second half of the 19th century, fezes’ import to the Middle East, Ottoman Empire, and India was monopolised by Jewish inhabitants of the Austria-Hungary Empire from the Moravia and Silesia region. Fezes were produced by i.e. Theodor Pollak – an entrepreneur from Biała (since 1951 merged with Bielsko), a prominent member of the local Jewish commune. In 1899, Austria-Hungary companies formed the Austrian Public Corporation of Fez Producers, whose yearly turnover reached 5.5 million pieces.


The Congress is accompanied by two exhibitions: “Oto Światłość Wielka i Klucz Rajski. Hymny z tatarskich zaścianków króla Sobieskiego” and “Oriental Paradise. Turkish Influence in the Polish Gardens”, which are on show in Palace in Wilanów.

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