Carpet, which is the traditional art of the Turks, has an important place in our art history. Carpet was first introduced to the Middle East and the Islamic world by Turks, showing a great development in the region where Turkish communities live in Central Asia. The reason why the carpet first developed in Central Asia is that the main economic resource of the Turks, who have a nomadic steppe culture, is husbandry. The raw material of the carpet is usually sheep fleece.
The oldest known carpet is Pazırık Carpet found in Central Asia Pazırık Kurgan. The carpet reflects the style and technique of Central Asian art in the best way. The Pazırık rug is woven very finely with 36 loops per 1 cm square. The fact that Pazırık carpet is made with the Turkish knot technique (Gördes knot) shows that the traditional technique of Turkish carpet art dates back to a very old past. In addition, the earliest example of octagonal Turkmen rose embroidery seen on Turkmen carpets is seen in Pazırık carpet.
Various animal fight scenes and animal figures in Central Asian Turkish carpets display the life and beliefs of the society of that period. The carpet was made before the Central Asian Turks, but they are applique rugs and do not have the knot technique. For this reason, Pazırık Carpet is important.
Turkish carpet art in Anatolia has shown a regular and continuous development from the 13th century to the 19th century, and new carpet types have emerged in every development. The first major link of this development chain was Anatolian Seljuk carpets. Anatolian Seljuk rugs became corner stone in terms of technique, color, motif and composition.
Gördes knot was technically used in Seljuk rugs and wool was preferred as a material. The elements that decorate the floor are composed of geometric motifs and stylized plant motifs. In addition, the friezes similar to the kufi script seen on the borders are among the indispensable decorations of the carpets of this period. The floor has an eternal appearance with the same motifs. The principle of eternity, which is the basic element of Turkish carpet art, is also seen in Seljuk carpets. Light blue light red on dark blue or dark red background is generally used as color in carpets.
Anatolian Seljuk rugs are 18 Seljuk carpets, 8 from Konya Alaeddin Mosque, 3 from Beyşehir Eşrefoğlu Mosque and 7 from Fustat. Various geometric and stylized floral motifs and large kufi inscribed border strips on the floor seen in these carpets are important for traditional Turkish carpet art.
During the principalities, Aksaray was a center where qualified carpets were woven, just like the Seljuks. A new page has been opened in Turkish carpet art with the animal figured carpets seen in the 15th century. Being a rich group in terms of animal figures and compositions, this group was first recognized in the paintings of European painters.
Ming carpet is the first original carpet to be brought to light in the group of animal figured carpets. The Ming carpet was found in a church in central Italy, which shows how animal figured carpets woven in Anatolia spread.
Carpet in the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman State has continued the Seljuk tradition in carpet weaving. 15-16. Century Early Ottoman Period carpets are categorized in four different groups. In the first and second group of 18th century Early Ottoman Period carpets (Holbein Rugs), the ground is divided into small squares, octagons placed inside the squares and rhombic-shaped motifs arranged in shifted axes between them. These rugs, which are considered to have been woven around Uşak, were woven with wool material and Turkish knot technique.
In the third and fourth group examples, the floor is divided into two, three or four equal squares. Geometric motifs made up of octagons are placed in each of the squares. These include eight-pointed star and plant patterns, stylized animals and fighting scenes.
Ottoman palace rugs were woven by the Ehli Hiref organization. Carpets are made with materials such as silk, wool, gold. Vivid and bright colors are dominant in the rich motif. This type of carpet, different from the classical understanding of Anatolia in the second half of the 15th century, was called Ottoman palace rugs. These carpets changed their style after Tabriz joined the Ottoman Empire. It is woven with inspiration from Persian carpets. Iran knot is used. With Westernization, motifs such as baroque cartridges, rococo glazes, oyster shells, s and c folds still-lifes and sceneries were seen on the carpet.