rugs, both flatwoven (or kilims with no pile) and hand-knotted rugs
(with pile), have been woven in the various Turkish regions for
centuries. Unfortunately, not enough evidence has thus far been obtained
to provide the answer as to when these rugs actually first appeared.
excavations have proven that flatwoven rugs (kilims) have been produced
in the Anatolia region of Turkey since at least the Neolithic period.
earliest specimens of hand-knotted rugs discovered thus far were in
Turkish regions in excavations carried out on Turkish burial mounds.
This evidence confirms the belief this first type of hand-knotted rug
was most likely first woven and used by the Turks.
textiles were a necessary household item for people living in Central
Asia where the Turks originated. The migratory life of the nomads made
it necessary to have on hand a variety of woven woolen textiles such as
tents and pile rugs, as well as kilims (flatweaves), felts, coverings,
sacks, and satchels.
nomad Turks used the wool from their animals to weave rugs and they
brought their rug weaving tradition with them when they migrated from
Central Asia toward the West.
TURKISH RUGS - DESIGNS
rug designs of the Turk nomads reflected their lives as influenced by
the various climatic and geographic conditions they experienced. Along
the way they also added influences from their new living conditions and
the impact of local cultures. They thus continued their tradition,
though with modified colors and designs.
values of a particular weaving period may be reflected in the twist and
quality of the wool, the manner in which the dye was manufactured, and
from what plants or insects it was produced, the fineness or looseness
of the stitch and, most important of all, the symbolic significance of
Turkish tradition of pious endowments is the major reason rugs have
managed to come down to us from the depths of the past. The benefactors
who, with their own modest resources, built the mosques to be found in
even the smallest village. They then furnished them with rugs and kilims
and added to these several of the finest specimens produced over the
centuries by the looms in the various houses. There were also a number
of prayer rugs specially woven for the mosques. It is thanks to this
tradition of pious endowment that the cultural heritage of carpets and
kilims has survived to the present day.
TURKISH RUG WEAVING TODAY
rug weaving still continues in villages in Anatolia, although the
number of carpets being made has been reduced. It is noteworthy to
mention the successful DOBAG project (a Turkish acronym for
Natural Dye Research and Development Project,) which has produced
superior carpets since 1981 with natural plant dyes and traditional Turkish motifs in the villages in northwestern Anatolia.
REPUBLIC OF TURKEY TODAY
(officially the Republic of Turkey as of 1923) is a country mainly
located on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia (also known as Asia
Minor) with a small region in Thrace in the Balkan region of SE Europe.
is bordered by the Aegean Sea in the west, the Mediterranean Sea in the
south and the Black Sea in the north. Armenia, Iran, and Azerbaijan are
on the east, Georgia in the northeast, Bulgaria and Greece in the
northwest, and Iraq and Syria in the southeast.
Turkey shares maritime borders with Cyprus, Egypt, Northern Cyprus, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
There are two narrow straits in northwestern Turkey, the Bosporus,
which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and the
Dardanelles, which connect the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean Sea with
the Sea of Marmara.
is more than twice the size of Germany or slightly smaller than the US
states of Texas and Louisiana combined. It has a population of more than
82 million people. The largest city is Istanbul. The second largest
city and the national capital is Ankara.
Turkish is the official language with Kurdish and Arabic also spoken.
REGIONS OF TURKEY
Turkey can be subdivided into seven major geographical regions:
region is the most densely populated in the country and is located in
the northwestern part of the country on both the continents of Europe
and Asia. Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, is located here.
BLACK SEA REGION
region is a long stretching mountainous region along the Black Sea with
a predominantly rural population. Major cities are Samsun, a Black Sea
port, the port city of Zonguldak, and Trabzon which was a main port on
the historical Silk Road.
region is one of Turkey’s prominent tourism centers. It shares much of
the history of Ancient Greece and is home to the city-states of Ephesus
Miletus, and Bodrum (formerly Halicarnassus).
region consists of a mountainous strip of land along the Mediterranean
Sea. The Taurus mountain range in the region separates the Mediterranean
coastal area from the Anatolian Plateau. The Turkish Riviera, with the
two popular resort towns of Alanya and Antalya, is located here.
historical region is the heartland of Turkey. It is home to the
country’s capital, Ankara, and other major cities like Konya and
is also located in Central Anatolia. This is an ancient region between
Lake Tuz and the Euphrates, famous for its ‘fairy chimneys’. Erosion has
shaped the soft volcanic rock into thousands of strangely shaped towers and this area has become a favorite of hot-air balloon fans.
region is also known as Turkish Kurdistan. It borders Syria in the
south and Iraq in the southeast. In ancient times, Southeast Anatolia
was part of the historical region of northwestern Mesopotamia, the site
of the earliest urban civilizations. The world’s oldest stone structures
were erected by an unknown civilization between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE, a
time that predates Stonehenge by 6,000 years!
region was formerly part of western Armenia. It is the region with the
lowest population density. The main economic activity is agriculture and
animal husbandry. Van is a major city near the Turkish border with Iran
and lies on the shores of Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey and one
of the world’s largest lakes with no outlet. The university town of
Erzurum is located here and is a popular winter sports destination in
MAJOR TURKISH RUGS
This article contains an overview of nine of the major Turkish rugs with photos. To continue reading, please go here,