The Sacred Journey: Talk with Dr Mehmet Tütüncü

“The Iron Camel and Its Tracks: The Hejaz Railway and its legacy” with Dr Mehmet Tütüncü as part of The Sacred Journey: Rediscovering the Ottoman Hajj Route Exhibition.

The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam central to Muslim belief and is a pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime if they are able. Taking place for centuries, this monumental journey has left physical and spiritual traces across the world. Following the beginning of the Ottoman rule of Damascus and the Hijaz during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this journey took a new line of development.

In this vein, Yunus Emre Institute in London is hosting Dr Mehmet Tütüncü on Thursday 2nd December, 7 pm (UK time) online for its second seminar of its “The Sacred Journey: Rediscovering the Ottoman Hajj Route” exhibition and talk series. Dr Tütüncü will be discussing the Hejaz railway, one of the greatest changes to the Ottman Hajj Route in its centuries of history.


At the end of the 19th-century, the Ottoman empire utilized modern technologies for the transport of Pilgrims to the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, revolutionising the journey to Hajj. The Hejaz railway would shorten the travel from Istanbul to mecca from 40 days to 3 days but would exist only for a few years. During this lecture, the construction, as well as the social, economic and technological impacts of the Hejaz railroad, will be discussed.

Guest Speaker:

Dr Mehmet Tütüncü


Thursday 2nd December 2021


19:00 pm (BST)

Online Webinar via ZOOM 

Admission is FREE but registration*** is ESSENTIAL via Eventbrite. 

About the speaker:

Mehmet Tütüncü is the chairman of (SOTA) Research Centre for Turkish and Arabic world in the Netherlands. This research centre researches the crossroads and sections between the Turkish and Arabic world and especially the Ottoman empires Arab provinces. He is the editor of the Turkish Islamic Inscriptions series of the research Centre. He works currently works on Ottomans in the Mediterranean (North Africa) and Arabian Peninsula as well as the Ottoman Heritage in the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina.

The exhibition can be visited during the hours below.

Exhibition Dates: 18h November – 17th December 2021

Visiting Times: Mondays – Fridays, 10 am – 6 pm

Venue: Yunus Emre Enstitüsü – London, 10 Maple Street, W1T 5HA

Admission: Free

For more information on these talks and to sign up, please visit the Yunus Emre Enstitüsü – London website, or email the Institute via

This exhibition is organized by Yunus Emre Enstitüsü – London in collaboration with the University of Wales Trinity St David, London Central Mosque and Turkish Airlines