Artist hopes calligraphy can build up Turkey-Taiwan ties


TAIPEI — A visiting Turkish artist said he hopes to use calligraphy, one of the most prestigious art forms in Islamic and Chinese cultures, to promote closer ties between the people of Turkey and Taiwan.

Aydin Cayir, a calligrapher with Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, told CNA recently that Turkey and Taiwan are both countries that appreciate beautiful handwriting and he hopes to introduce Turkish and Islamic culture to Taiwanese through calligraphy.

“Art should be shared,” said the 43 year-old, who has held calligraphy exhibitions and workshops in some 30 countries, including China, Japan, Germany, the United States and Switzerland.

As in Taiwan, the art of fine handwriting is being lost in Turkey, Cayir said, adding that he hopes to encourage more young people to carry on the ancient art form.

He said Turkish calligraphy often conveys stories or important values in Turkish culture, such as piety and appreciation, which he hopes to share with the Taiwanese people.

Cayir, whose professional career as a calligrapher began 25 years ago, does both Arabic and Latin calligraphy in sync with traditional Turkish music.

Contemporary Turkish calligraphy combines Latin alphabets, which were adopted by Turkey in the 20th century, with the art of Islamic calligraphy that often has a religious theme and includes passages from the Qur’an, the sacred text of Islam.

On his visit to Taiwan, Cayir has given calligraphy demonstrations at places such as the National Taiwan Museum and at a Ramadan dinner in Taipei attended by local officials, scholars and media.

He was invited to Taiwan by the Anatolia Formosa Association, a group that promotes cultural and academic exchanges between Taiwan and Turkey.