The first example of Turkish carpet weaving is found in Central Asia in Turkish kurgans (tombs). This is the oldest example, which is mentioned as Pazırık Carpet (4th – 3rd centuries BC) in ancient sources, woven with knot technique that is associated with Turks. This carpet weaving tradition is brought into Anatolia by Turkish nomads and is continued here.
The art of carpet weaving continues in Anatolia with Seljuks. The richness in motifs in the Seljuk period is reflectedin the geometrical arrangements, large Kufic scripts, and zoomorphic designs. In the Otoman period (14th – 15th centuries), it is differentisted with the stylization and geometric character of the animal figures related to Central Asian tradition. In the 16th century, “palace carpets” are begun to be woven with the inclusion of floral motifs to the existing design program. This influence continues through the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Gordes knot which is applied since the appearance of the textile industry, is replaced by Persian (Sine) knot. As in many branches of art, the Western (Baroque) influence is felt in the art of carpet weaving also.
The development of carpet weaving in Bergama goes back to the 14th century. Bergama was an important centre of carpet manufacturing of West Anatolia among the carpet ateliers establ,shed in many places in Anatolia. It continued to be a manufacturing centre until the 17th century. The region formed a specific style by adding local characteristics to the compositions formed within the design program throughout the country. Within the context of all these features, Bergama carpets attracted intense interest at home and abroad. Especially in Europe, Bergama carpets are used as decorative elements instead of flor covering in the palace environment and in the houses of elite aristocracts. These decorative carpets especially drew the attention of the European artists, and the artists depicted these carpets on their paintings. In this way, Bergama carpets took place in the world carpet literature with the names of the artists who depicted them (Holbein, Loto, Memling and Bellini).
Bergama’s late period carpets of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries are named after the manufacturing centre. Especially carpets manufactured by the Yuruk nomadic tribes at Yagcibedir, Kazak and Yundagi regions clearly reflect Bergama’s cultural concept in terms of rich design composition, vivid colours, weaving technique, and with product variety (prayer rug, rug and saddlebag). Yagcibedir carpets are manufactured at the villages on the slopes of Geyikli Mountain to the west of Bergama. The woven carpets are named as “ Daughter Bergama” (Oba) Rug, “Karagoz rug”,”Foliated (Yellow) rug”. All the floral and geometric designs on Yagcibedir carpets are symbolic details of a secial event. Claret red and dark blue are the main colours. Mader root is used fort he early examples.
Yundagi carpets are manufactured at the villages to the South of Bergama. Carpet types are grouped as “camel neck”,”gren head” and “straight form”. The main colours are camel colour, claret red and dark blue. Generally, mihrab and within mihrab flower, vase and star-flower motifs are used.
Kozak carpets are manufactured at the villages to the North of Bergama. Generally, stylized floral arrangements with a geometric form and architectural elements like mihrab are used on the carpets. Vivid colours of the nature are used on the carpets.
Many hşgh quality late period Bergama carpets are exhibited in Bergama Museum’s carpet collection. They are rare, Unique examples, which reflect the knowledge, likes, taste concept, custom and traditions andbeliefs of the people of Bergama and region that are accumulated over centuries.
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