Handmade carpets were possibly brought by the Seljuk people to Asia Minor. When the Venetian merchant, Marco Polo, came to the former capital, the city of Konya, in the year 1283, he wrote, that there he found the most beautiful and exquisite carpets of the world.
With the support of the Ottoman sultans, who at this time already greatly appreciated art, the first court manufacturies were founded. From the 14th to the 17th century the most precious court carpets were then made. These are still used as models by many weavers until today. The so-called "Holbein carpets", repeatedly portrayed in his paintings, are from this period.
Great collectors value have the Ushak- and Lotto-carpets dated from the 16th and 18th century, as well as the Siebenburger-carpets. In the following century products from Turkey were at the top of world trade, and one city - Smyrna - became the epitome for the Oriental carpet.
As in other countries of origin, various kinds of carpets are produced in Turkey - from the robust carpet made by the nomads, to the rural products of Anatolian farmers, up to the finest manufactured carpets of sheer silk.
Among the finest works in knotting - next to the manufacture carpets from Hereke -are the carpets from Panderma, Istanbul, Kayseri, and Sivas. They all enjoy traditional fame. No subject book on carpets is without descriptions and pictures of antique carpets from Ushak, Kula, Smyrna, Bergamo, Milas, Ghiordes, Konya, and Ladik. As of today carpets are still made using handed down patterns.
Since many generations the nomads of Anatolia make colourful, small motived Yuruk carpets. Yuruk means wandering shepherd and is used as generic term for all carpets of this genre.
The Anatolien Kurd carpets are also the products of nomads. They are darker and more restrained in their colouring though. The high pile is typical. Here the carpets are mostly used for protection from the cold.The important provinces are arranged by alphabet and can be found on the map.
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