Carpets constitute a branch of art that has been synonymous with the name of the Turks for centuries. Travel accounts and documents attest to the beautiful and valuable carpets woven in Seljuk Anatolia, and the carpet was an important Anatolian export in the period of Principalities that followed. The Ottomans, who inherited the art of the carpet as a legacy, raised it to even greater heights. Examples of carpets from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods right up to the present day are exhibited at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, which has the world’s richest collection.
THE SELJUK TRADITION
Carpet-making is believed to have started as a nomadic art. Knotted carpets, the oldest examples of which were found in a region heavily populated by nomadic tribes, in other words west and Central Asia, were spread on the ground for protection again severe climatic conditions. Their invention was motivated by the need for something to replace the animal skins that constituted the backbone of the nomadic economy.