A symposium marking the 500th anniversary of the printing of the first world map by renowned Ottoman sailor and cartographer Piri Reis began on Monday in Ankara.
Piri Reis produced the oldest known map of the globe in 1513. He created the map by integrating the knowledge of the sailors travelling all over the world and by using their skill in mathematics and the geometry.
Composed of experts, researchers and speakers from Turkey, the symposium, hosted by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Foundation for Environmental Education in Anatolia (ANACEV), opened with a speech from Ocal Oguz, chairman of UNESCO Turkish Commission.
"Piri Reis was a humanist who helped people from different religions and cultures escape from Spanish shores with ships," said Oguz. "He was saving people with ships in the 15th century, while we are trying to help people and facing death with Mavi Marmara ship on the shores of Israel."
Mavi Marmara, a ship in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and IHH (Turkish humanitarian aid organization) was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials with the intention of breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2010.