Discover the Vivid Colors of Anatolian Rugs

DATE: 22 novembre, 2017

Anatolian carpets, also known as Turks, are marketed in the Izmir and Istanbul markets and are often considered as “prayer” carpets for Muslim prayer. Generally this is a small carpet, although it is not difficult to find it large and usually have no human or animal figures and are asymmetric.

When we find information on a topic of our own interest we should always check the source, that it is authoritative and how recent it may be. In this case, it is evident that he has been relying on dated sources. The carpets knotted in the Anatolian Peninsula and in Thrace (geographical reference) are Turkish carpets, knotted in Turkey, (Turkish Political Landmark).

Where are Turkish rugs marketed? What do you mean by “marketed”? In the Bazaar, small workshops in Istanbul’s Fathy neighborhood, there are small and big merchants selling everything from Afghan carpets, to Chinese ones, even some Turkish old or antique pieces. In Izmir, however, we find more shops for tourists.

Although it is forbidden to import carpets in Turkey to defend local production, today even in the towns that in  small villages we find from the old Persian piece to the new Pakistani carpets, while the local manufactory represents only a small minority.

The spread of prayer carpets with a specific composition is documented from the XV century and many testimonies from Anatolia are kept at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art (Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzes) in Istanbul which houses several specimens of prayer carpets to testify the different variants of the drawing.


The Meaning of Prayer

turkish rug

Prayer is one of the fundamental pillars of the Muslim religion and it is no wonder if the carpet is used for praying, as one of the greatest artistic manifestations of Islam. The carpet plays a fundamental role: it prevents direct contact between the impure floor and the beliver concentrating at the moment of prayer and its use dates back to the early days of Islam and many carpets of the first caliphates have been housed in the mosques.

No! The first caliphates date back to 2016 – 622 = 1394 also taking into account that the Islamic year differs by 3% from ours, no carpet lasts more than 1300 years.


Symbols and Metaphors of Anatolian Carpets

antique anatolian carpet

Prayer carpets have highly symbolic and metaphorical motifs in their compositions. Turkish prayer carpets take pictures and typical elements from mosques in their graphic organization. The first is represented by the carpet itself, which used mainly for prayer becomes a metaphor of purification that the beliver is required to perform five times a day. The carpet becomes a sacred and pure space that isolates the muslim from the physical world in which it is located. Being small in size, it will be like having a mosque with you always, no matter where and with whom you are, and therefore, being the representation of the mosque, it becomes a place of worship and belonging.


Ornament and Refuge: The Carpet Texture

antalya anatolian carpet

The Anatolian prayer carpet has a sophisticated composition with architectural arch and a votive lamp in the center hold up by temple columns to the side that come from Mihrab’s image. The upper arch is a reminiscent of the celestial vault, linked to the portal where the Mihrab is located. Right in the center of that drawing full of meaning knees the beliver.

The main element of the composition is the Mihrab (or Mehrab), which symbolizes the niche covered by a arch and indicates the direction of the Mecca temple (Quibla) in each mosque. This niche represents the Door of Paradise and indicates the direction of Mecca, also indicates in which direction prayer should take place. The word Mihrab itself in Arabic means refuge. This decoration is represented in different shapes, usually typical of a particular area of origin.

Even the mosque lamp is an important and recurrent decorative pattern of Anatolian prayer carpets indicating the carpet’s direction, but it can also be seen as an ornament. Often in prayer carpets are also found floral decorations and water tanks, all of which are related to the theme of the garden. A non-random representation, since in the Islam the supernatural world is described just like a garden, and this is the meaning of the term paradise with which it is indicated.


The Colors of the Prayer Carpet

With regard to the chromatic features of the Anatolic prayer carpet, the colors are often bright, strong and intense. They may look tough colors, but they are still pleasing to the eye. Mostly, the colors used are blue, green Nile, sepia, yellow and ivory.


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