1958 Brussels World Exhibition and Representation of Turkiye


CTAD-CUMHURIYET TARIHI ARASTIRMALARI DERGISI, vol.19, no.39, pp.1617-1643, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 39
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1617-1643
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Exhibitions, which first emerged in the form of local markets and bartering places, have become great meeting places, where countries exhibit their products by crossing borders, as a consequence of the development of world trade, the increase in transportation opportunities, and the development of international trade. The first international exhibition was the London Exhibition of 1851, and many countries have hosted international exhibitions since then. However, the organization of international exhibitions was interrupted due to World War II, and the first post-war international exhibition was opened in Brussels between 17 April and 19 October 1958. 51 countries, 112 pavilions, and 7 international organizations participated in the exhibition, which was organized by Belgium with the idea of making Brussels, the capital, the centre of Europe. Turkiye also participated in the exhibition, which was visited by more than 41 million people, with the main theme of "The Crossing Point of Civilizations" and a pavilion prepared under the management of Exhibition General Commissioner Munis Faik Ozansoy. A team consisting of Utarit Izgi, Muhlis Turkmen, Hamdi Sensoy and Ilhan Turegun undertook the construction of the Turkish Pavilion, which would take place in the exhibition. In the Turkish Pavilion, which consisted of two blocks consisting of the Exhibition Building and the Restaurant, which also included Turkish Coffee, the products belonging to the geography and culture of Turkiye were exhibited, as well as the works exhibiting various phases of Turkish history. The products exhibited in the Turkish Pavilion, whichattracted great attention during the six months it was open and were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals in various categories, were also closely followed by the Turkish public, and the sensitivities and prominent features of the Republic of Turkiye were introduced to the international world through the exhibition. The aim of this research is to focus Turkiye's purpose of participating in the first world exhibition of the Cold War era, "Expo 58", to examine the way it took place in the exhibition, and to analyze the similarities and differences with previous exhibitions and the reflections of the exhibition on the Turkish and world public opinion.