One of the areas that reflect Turkey’s rich history the most is it’s traditional crafts. From knitting to embroidery, weaving to copper and silver craftsmanship, these traditional crafts draw the attention of local and foreign tourists and they take first place in the gift and souvenir shops. Famous film stars and even politicians buy world famous Turkish rugs to take home after their business or leisure trips. Whether you spend your vacation in Turkey on the Aegean and Mediterranean coast or in big cities, you can find these traditional handicrafts anywhere in Turkey. These crafts can be a magnificent addition to your home or office while constantly reminding you of the joyous days you spent in Turkey.
The best examples of Turkish weaving is illustrated in Turkish rugs and tapestries. You can see the best specimens of these works of art in big stores at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. For the more budget conscious you can visit web sites of different brands and go to their showrooms to view them in person. When you see and touch the magnificent patterns of Avanos carpets, Bunyan carpets, Milas carpets and Hereke’s silk carpets you will agree why this traditional art is famous worldwide. The Turkmen tapestries that vary by region is a definite must see as well.
Knitting, hosiery, embroidery, lace and crochet are amongst the other traditional handicrafts. If you visit eastern Turkey, especially during the winter months, where winter is cold and harsh, you will get the chance to see and buy handmade sweaters and socks. For example, during your vacation if you happen to visit the gorgeous Van Lake, you must see world famous Van tapestries and knitted socks. Types of needle, crochet, bobbin case, candles and weaving embroidery is the most common among the traditional crafts. All kinds of clothes, cloth, muslin, bed sheets and embroiders attract attention because of their fabric, techniques, compositions and colors. It’s possible to find this embroidery and lace products in almost every home in Turkey and in almost any store selling textile products across the country.
In regards to metalwork, copper and silver craftsmanship is the prominent type of traditional handicrafts. Products like cauldrons, water pitchers, pots, pans, shallow pans, bowls, jardinière and barbecues are often a part of these traditional crafts. Coppersmiths has been around for thousands of years in Anatolia; and they still continue especially in Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Trabzon, Gaziantep, Bursa today. Traditional Turkish copper products with motifs attracts great interest of tourists, and they are among the important works of art that reflect the traditional culture of the land. Copper craftsmen whose numbers are steadily declining produce these products with forging and stamping techniques; then by using the embossing technique create shapes and motifs. Another example of the master-apprentice relationship that is transferred from one generation to another is the art of silver craftsmanship. Training courses can be found anywhere to learn this craftsmanship due to the intense interest of local people. For example, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality offers courses on traditional silver craftsmanship and a lot of Turkish citizens are very interested in it.
One of the most essential handicrafts of Turkey is the art of tile making. Particularly Iznik and Kütahya is well-known worldwide for the traditional art of tile making. You can find these products anywhere in Turkey. However during your visit if you happen to pass by Iznik or Kütahya, you must visit one of the many tile-making facilities found there and see for yourself how this old form of art still lives on. You also have to see the traditional art of glass blowing which was especially famous during the peak years of the Ottoman empire. Glass blowing and glass painting were extremely advanced during the Ottoman empire, and the motifs from that era is still used on products today. It is possible to find these products in the large ceramic and glass companies.