Turkish art refers to all works of visual art originating from the geographical area of what is present day Turkey since the arrival of the Turks in the Middle Ages. Turkey also was the home of much significant art produced by earlier cultures, including the Hittites, Ancient Greeks, and Byzantines. The 16th and 17th centuries are generally recognised as the finest period for art in the Ottoman Empire, much of it associated with the huge Imperial court. Apart from Ottoman architecture and Ottoman illumination of manuscripts the most important media were in the applied or decorative arts rather than figurative work. Pottery, especially İznik pottery, hardstone carvings, Turkish carpets and textiles were all produced to extremely high standards. Other Turkish art ranges from traditional Ebru or paper marbling to Western style paintings.
Turkey has a very ancient folk dance tradition, which varies from region to region, each dance being colourful, rhythmic, elegant and stylish. The following are among the most popular: “Çayda Çıra” from the Sivas region in Central Anatolia...
Turkish music evolved from the original folk form into classical through the emergence of a Palace culture. It attained its highest point in the 16th century through the composer “Itri”. Great names in Turkish classical music include “Dede...
Theatre and Cinema
Turkish theatre is thought to have originated from the popular Karagöz shadow plays, a cross between moralistic Punch and Judy and the slapstick Laurel and Hardy. It then developed along an oral tradition, with plays performed in public...
Until the 18th century, painting in Turkey was mainly in the form of miniatures, usually linked to books in the form of manuscript illustrations. In the 18th century, trends shifted towards oil painting, beginning with murals. Thereafter, under...
Literature has long been an important component of Turkish cultural life, reflecting the history of the people, their legends, their mysticism, and the political and social changes that affected this land throughout its long history. The oldest literary...
Opera and Ballet
In the period prior to the proclamation of the Republic in Turkey, opera, ballet and the theatre were mostly centred around Istanbul and Izmir. The first showing of opera at the imperial court was by artists trained by...