Istanbul hosts 38th in series of 41 conferences

February 17, 2009

ISTANBUL, Turkey — The 38th conference in the series of Baha’i gatherings occurring around the world was held last weekend in Istanbul, drawing 925 participants, mainly from Turkey, Cyprus, and Albania.

Istanbul is the only city hosting a conference where Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, set foot.

Baha’u’llah was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1817. In 1853, the Iranian authorities banished Him from His homeland to Baghdad, then part of the Ottoman Empire (see The Life of Baha'u'llah Web site). This marked the beginning of 40 years of exile which, after Baghdad, took Him to the Turkish cities of Istanbul and Edirne, and culminated in perpetual imprisonment in Acre, then a remote Ottoman outpost.

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Map shows the exiles of Baha’u’llah after He left Tehran. Constantinople is now called Istanbul.

Some 75,000 people have participated to date in the conferences, which began on 1 November and will conclude on 1 March. Scheduled for this coming weekend are gatherings in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Accra, Ghana, followed the next week by the last of the series of 41, which will be in Kiev, Ukraine.

To read a report of last weekend’s conference in Istanbul, go to:

To see photographs with a narrative about the life of Baha’u’llah, including His exile in Istanbul, go to: