Tag Archives: turkish

Ancient Craft : Traditional Turkish Ceramics

First the historical bit. It is said that Turkish ceramic art dates back to the 8th and 9th centuries. With the Anatolian style being at its highest in the 13th Century. Mosques, tombs, palaces were all exquisitely decorated, some examples of which are still around in Konya, Sivas and Alanya, if you can take a trip to see these most beautiful works of art in situ. You will marvel at the intricacy and complexity of the designs and colours and sit in wonder as to how these ancient artists worked with such precision.

Traditional Turkish ceramics on the Grand Bazaar

Luckily for us you don’t have to settle for a picture postcard or to just stare longingly trying to etch the scene on our memories, You can now take a piece of this beautiful art home with you. In almost every town and market you can purchase tiles, bowls, plates, candle holders ablaze with turquoise, red, green and cobalt.

One of my particular favourites is the Nazar Boncuk, commonly known as the Turkish Eye. On every house and wall in every cafe and restaurant even the dogs kennel you will see this single eye. This eye is said to be for protection and woe betide you if you haven’t got one. Needless to say I have several in different forms all over our apartment, you can’t be too careful.

Another popular design is the “Tulip” or “Lilly” as it is sometimes called, this design dates back to Ottoman times, they had a true love for flowers, especially the Tulip, with its elongated petals and slender leaves.

Colorful Turkish ceramic plates

There are so many traditional styles like the Carnation (the national flower of Turkey) or the Cintamani which is three dots and a wavy line which is derived from leopard and tiger skins. A great favourite of the Ottoman artist was wildlife and flowers made into a geometric designs. Turkish ceramics are a dream and the moment you step onto Turkish soil you are sure see one design or another.

The markets, shops and bazaars are crammed full of modern day replicas that can be purchased quite cheaply. I am not saying that you can buy an ancient Turkish tile that once adorned a mosque wall (and if you are told this please don’t believe them) maybe an ashtray or a kettle stand. Either way you can take a little bit of Turkish art and culture back to your homeland.

Oh and don’t forget your Turkish Eye! They will be watching

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Holiday in Turkey : Turkish Bath Experience

The Turkish Bath or Hamam is a paradise of water and steam, an experience that any visitor to Turkey should try. I recommend it is the first place you visit when coming to Turkey for two reasons. Firstly you will start your holiday relaxed. Secondly it will give you a fantastic base for your tan, once all of your dead skin is removed. Just imagine how disappointed you would be if you spend two weeks perfecting that tan to have it all rubbed off at the end of your holiday!

hamam-turkish-bath

Here is what to expect! Most of the Turkish bath masseurs are male. Before you enter the Hamam and if you prefer a woman to do the pummelling then simply ask. It is also important to know that there is no mixing of sexes within the Hamam.

You will start in the “relaxation room” this is heated by a constant flow of hot dry air, the idea is to make you sweat (or perspire if you are a lady) opening your pores allowing all the impurities to leave your body.

Next seems a little cruel but I am told is a very important part of the experience. Your body will now be hot and cold water is poured over you from head to foot. Try and not howl or run away, they only chase you. Once you have recovered from this it is time to lay supine on a large heated stone to be soaped within an inch of your life. Whilst being soaped you will receive a deep massage. If you have any problem areas or want a gentle massage just say. Though I am not sure if gentle is in their vocabulary.

Finally you will be lead to the relaxation room where you can sit, drink ice cool water and appreciate the feeling of complete relaxation. Perfect, I guarantee that for the next few days you will feel amazing. Soft glowing skin and relaxation like never before.

Ref: HolidayMate  > article : http://www.holidaymate.com/blog/turkish-bath/
http://www.allaboutturkey.com/hamam.htm