any of the palaces, mansions or large houses
that have been preserved intact in Istanbul
or Izmir, and you are likely to see a tiled
stove along with many other valuable objects.
They are generally green, but sometimes blue
or white, and seem to hint that they are far
more than mere heating apparatus. Even though
their flames roar only in winter and they laze
idly through the summer months, they still lord
it over the other furnishings. Cabinets and
tables inlaid with mother-of-pearl, huge Chinese
vases, beautiful porcelain dinner services,
gleaming crystal chandeliers, silver candlesticks,
and richly patterned Hereke carpets spread on
the floors cannot wrest the limelight from the
heart warming presence of a tiled stove. With
the advent of central heating, these stoves
increasingly became ornamental in function.
Before their introduction Turkish houses had
been heated by fireplaces and braziers. Of course
at that time the point was to heat the people
sitting around them, not the house itself.