The opening of ‘Safe Harbor Turkey,’ jointly organized by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the Prime Ministry Office of Public Diplomacy and the UN's refugee agency, was attended by Turkey’s Deputy FM Naci Koru, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and Director-General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan.
The exhibition shows how different communities have sought shelter in Turkey’s territories throughout its history -- from the Ottoman Empire through to the formation of modern Turkey and up to the present day.
"This exhibition presents the hospitality Turkey has shown so far and is very important for Turkey," Deputy FM Koru told an Anadolu Agency correspondent during the opening.
Koru said Turkey has been a refuge for those seeking shelter from conflict and oppression since the fifteenth century and was proud to do so.
Turkey currently hosts more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees, which has had a social and economic impact on the country, yet it still continues to provide help to the refugees, according to Koru.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres stated that the exhibition reflects traditional Turkish hospitality.
Guterres, who is Portuguese, added that the photographs also showed "stupid" political decisions made by his country in the sixteenth century, when Jews were forced to flee the country and sought refuge in the Ottoman Empire.
"Today, Turkey is the country hosting the largest numbers of refugees in the world," he said, adding that refugee camps in Turkey were one of the best in the world.
'Safe Harbor Turkey' will be open to visitors until 11 March.