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The exhibition had a successful run at the Science Museum in London earlier this year, and will move to the New York Hall of Science after ending its seven-week Istanbul stint on Oct. 5. It arrived hurriedly in Turkey after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan saw it in London and said he was eager to host it.

“There was an attempt to impose a history that jumped from ancient Greece straight to the Renaissance period,” Erdogan said at the opening ceremony last week. “Later on, some Western scientists made a praiseworthy effort to acknowledge the contributions of Islamic civilization to the history of science.”

Erdogan leads an Islamic-oriented government that has cut away at the power of traditional elites with a strongly secular background. He has also sought to elevate the memory of the Ottoman Empire, whose attempts at Western-style reform failed to stem its collapse in the early 20th century.

Ehsan Masoud, author of “Science and Islam: A History” and editor of a research policy newsletter in Britain, said scientific innovation in Muslim lands began to decline as Islamic empires grew weak and poor, and Western colonial powers expanded.

“It’s fair to say that history is written by the victors,” Masoud said. “Quite understandably, Western nations are hardly going to start crediting the people they’ve defeated.”


Associated Press Writer Erol Israfil contributed to this report.