The initiatives we have painstakingly taken since 2005 to return to their rightful place the machinery, objects, documents, and photographs used at the Cibali Tobacco and Cigarette Factory bore fruit in 2008 and, the said works were temporarily transferred to Rezan Has Museum. As the protector of its legacy, we are determined to rekindle the spirit of the Cibali Tobacco and Cigarette Factory with its more than a century-long history and transmit this cultural heritage to future generations. As part of this objective, we are thrilled to share with viewers the tobacco and cigarette machines that have survived to date, as well as all other available documents, information, and works that have returned home after a meticulous, two-year process of conservation/restoration initiated in 2009. As the second step of the 2011 exhibition entitled, “Like Moths to the Flame: The Ottoman Fire Brigades” organized as part of the exhaustive project we undertook for the introduction and display of the 2600-piece collection of CTF, this new exhibition offers a fresh glimpse into the collection.
Providing viewers with the opportunity to witness the final years of the Ottoman Empire and the industrial, economic, political, and socio-cultural history of the Turkish Republic, the collection also reveals the place Cibali Tobacco Factory holds in the labor history of Turkey with a particular focus on female participation and contribution in the workforce.
Recounting the highly successful tale of the physical and conceptual metamorphosis of this exceptionally significant and dynamic space that transformed the country with its workers and units in the nearly 100 year-long course of its history was one of the most important tasks we had undertaken in upholding legacy of this institution we had inherited. We are thus proud to see that this work recalls and reminds us exactly which memories the urban transformation process we are currently experiencing radically alters and erases from collective memory.