November 27, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 21, 2007
Oludeniz: Olu Deniz is a picturesque resort area, especially the main hillside town of Belcekiz, which has crystal clear water, and a long shingle beach curving away from the town promenade along to a calm blue lagoon. In addition to good value hotels - usually with pools - in Olu Deniz town, there are some popular resort villages nearby, such as Ovacik and Hisaronu [10 mins], which means that the beach can get overcrowded. The promenade by the town has plenty of bars, restaurants and cafés and there are loads of umbrellas and loungers for hire, and a wide range of water sports available. Paragliding and Hangliding, solo or tandem, off adjacent Babadag mountain and landing on the beach are extremely popular, as is scuba diving. Locals claim the season is all year round. Summer temperature averages 32C, winter 20C. 1hr 45 mins from Dalaman Airport.
Olimpos Beach: In the southern part of the country, 79 km southwest of Antalya lies the most eclectic of all Turkish beaches, Olimpos. The Olimpos beach, apart from the sun and the sands, is also a witness to history and novelty like the pine forest situated at the back of the beach, which houses the ruins of ancient marble temples. This forest sports both a primeval look with Chimera, a natural fire that has been burning incessantly for centuries and a quirky look with hotels mounted on treetops. The lovely Olimpos beach is definitely not short on character and when visiting the place, staying in a tree-house camp should definitely be on the cards. There are various types of such aerial homes, offering different levels of comfort and luxury. However, the best accommodation in these parts is the Olimpos Lodge.
Alanya (Cleopatra Beach): Alanya is one of the Turkey's largest resorts, with two good beaches, an historical site [old fortress], and great facilities. Cleopatra's Beach, on the western side of the peninsula, is one of the best known beaches. It's sandy, pleasant and more secluded than the other town beach on the eastern side. It is likely to be crowded with German and Scandinavian beer bellies in high summer. 2 hrs from Antalya Airport
November 20, 2007
Books have been dedicated to this subject alone, so it is impossible to do justice to the culture behind the art of carpet making, we can only scratch the surface of this subject.
Symbolism plays a big part in Turkish Carpets, and wherever possible, we have attemped to interpret the symbols and provide a brief description and meaning for each product. Due to individual weavers interpretations and and the abstract nature of some symbols it is not alway possible to do this.Additionally some designs are made up of purely geometric patterns.
There are two basic products available, the familiar carpet or rug which has wool knotted into the base to form the pile, and the kilim, where the pattern is an intrinsic part of the base weave, and no knotted wools is used, which results in a "flat" weave. Kilims are more popular in warmer climates, but are becoming increasing more popular as timber based floors gain popularity. Additionally, it is not uncommom for a kilim to be used as a wall decoration.
Considerations in carpet design
The first stage in carpet weaving is to decide on a design or a motif. In regional carpet production, experienced weavers create the design as they weave, whereas in the production of tightly knotted carpets a pattern to refer to is necessary. As a result of long years of research and labour, almost all of the designs of old Turkish carpets are available, but with a modern approach and new concepts. Also new motifs have been developed, derived from the old patterns, so still maintaining the traditions. There's a great variety of motifs of geometric designs. Stylised animal, human and plant motifs are found scattered among the geometric designs, and the colours used bring out these motifs.
Some of the carpets with floral designs exhibit such harmony and colours that they resemble flower gardens. The carnival of flowers, branches and plants that covers the surface of the carpets is always framed by a complementing design.
The most important element in design is proportion. The design should be weaved in such a manner that there should be no irregularities in the corners. The carpets with a "mihrab" design (seccade) may have different designs in or around the "mihrab", and decorations of Arabic letters may be seen in the borders. The design is first created in sections on paper and placed on the loom to guide the weaver. As the carpet increases in size, so the number of these sections increase too. The second most important element is the material used, which varies according to the type of carpet. It may be wool, pure silk, cotton, or silk like cotton called floss. Bursa is one of the few centres of silk production in the world, and for centuries, the pure silk produced here has been used in the making of handmade Turkish carpets. The real beauty of silk comes out best of all in these magnificent looking rugs and wall carpets, these are deemed the highest quality carpet available. Lamb's wool though, is the most popular material used. The grasslands of the Anatolian plateaux are the reason behind the durability and sheen of the wool. The wool used in carpet production must be special: strong and soft. In certain regions, the wool, as in the old days, is spun by hand to make the yarn used in carpet weaving. Today, textiles are a major industry in Turkey, and the country is a leading cotton producer.
In carpet weaving, the base (warp and weft) is constructed of cotton; wool is then knotted onto this to form the pile. Such handmade carpets made of both cotton and wool, are as attractive and durable as the others. Floss is used only in Kayseri carpets, and it makes up the pile. As floss is easily dyed, bright and attractive carpets in a variety of colours are produced by using floss.
Knotted carpets are woven on a loom consisting of horizontal bars, onto which the warp threads are stretched. Onto these threads, the pile knots are tied according to the pattern. The thread ends, which make up the pile, are clipped off to get a velvet like soft surface. Thus, the motifs are made up of thousands of individual knots. The tighter the knots, the finer and stronger is the carpet. The pleasure one gets from a beautiful carpet equals the pleasure one gets from a beautiful painting.
The double knot, known as the Turkish or Gordes knot, is used in all typical Turkish carpets. Another well known system is the Sehna or Persian knot. The Turkish knot is wrapped around two warps and the Persian knot around a single warp. A kilim, which is similar to a carpet, is woven on the loom but with a different technique; knots are not used. The Gordes knot makes a carpet stronger, firmer and more durable, while the Sehna knot allows the weaving of different patterns. However, once a carpet is made it is difficult to determine the knotting system used.
The colours also are characteristic of the region where the carpet is made. The threads used in the weaving of antique carpets used to be dyed with natural dyes, the formulas of which were known only by the family that manufactured the carpet. Today, chemical dyes are used along with vegetable dyes. Natural dyes are produced from leaves, roots, and fruits. Many of the villages engaged in carpet making have a grazing land called "Boyalik". Plants from which dyes are made are grown there. The various formulas for dye production have been passed down from generation to generation. Thus the colours traditional to Turkish carpet production have survived till today. Red is dominant in Turkish carpets. This striking colour expresses wealth, joy and happiness. Green symbolises heaven; blue nobility and grandeur; yellow is believed to keep evil away, and black symbolises purification from worries.
Handmade carpets are generally called after the region or town where they are produced. Contemporary carpets are made in various sizes and with combinations of different materials. In some regions, the threads used in weaving and the knots may be only wool, and in other regions, the base may be cotton and the knots wool. In still other regions pure silk is used in the weaving of carpets.
article from www.turkishcarpet.net
for more informationabout turkish carpets and rugs
November 16, 2007
Adiyaman, the cradle of the oldest civilizations in history, is among the most important provinces in Turkey from the aspect of tourism. Especially, on the Nemrut Mountain in Kahta District, the graves, temples and the statues of kings are extremely interesting for tourists. The province has recorded great developments in agriculture thanks to the introduction of irrigation with the GAP project, and industrialization has accelerated in recent years.
The Commagene State was founded in the first century B.C. on the lands of the Adiyaman Province of today. King Antiochus I, who was known to be an art lover, decided that his grave should be at the summit of Nemrut Mountain and said, "Those who come to visit my grave should wear their most beautiful clothes and the most fragrant perfumes. I will give them happiness and prosperity for generations on these lands." In fact, the Nemrut Mountain National Park and the summit of Nemrut Mountain, with its impressive silhouette at a height of 2150 meters, is the place in the province visited the most by domestic and foreign tourists, with its natural beauty and historical assets.
The mausoleum of Antiochus I, located at the summit of the mountain, is surrounded by three sacred areas in the shape of a terrace carved into the hard rock, to the east, west and north. At the eastern terrace are located the statues of Apollo, the god of art; Tyche (Fortuna), the goddess of fertility and fortune; Zeus, the god of the heavens; Hercules, the god of strength; King Antiochus; an eagle and a lion. The height of the statues is close to 9 meters. The steles of the Commagene Royal Family are to the north and south, and to the east of the terrace, there is a rectangular shaped altar with steps, and beside it a protective lion statue. The western terrace, where there are the same statues, is more effective in its sculpture, in spite of the fact that it has experienced more damage in comparison with the eastern terrace. Nemrut Mountain has a unique pastoral beauty, especially at sunset on the western terrace, and visitors experience moments that they will not forget as long as they live. The most suitable time of year for climbing the mountain is between 15 May and 15 October. read more about this place
November 11, 2007
November 9, 2007
November 7, 2007
November 6, 2007
The tradition of the Turkish bath extends far back, to a time before Turks had reached Anatolia. When the Turks arrived in Anatolia, they brought with them one bathing tradition, and were confronted with another, that of Romans and Byzantines, with certain local variants. The traditions merged, and with the addition of the Moslem concern for cleanliness and its concomitant respect for the uses of water, there arose an entirely new concept, that of the Turkish Bath. In time it became an institution, with its system of ineradicable customs.
For the Turkish bath was much more than just a place to cleanse the skin. It was intimately bound up with everyday life, a place where people of every rank and station, young and old, rich an poor, townsman or villager, could come freely. Women as well as men made use of the "hamam", as the bath is known in Turkish, although of course at separate hours.
From the individual's point of view, the hamam was a familiar place from the earliest weeks of life right up to its very end. Important occasions during a lifespan were, and in some township still are, celebrated with rejoicing at the bath. The newborn's fortieth day, the brides bathing complete with food and live music, and the Avowal are instances. The latter requires some explanation, for it involved the custom common in Anatolia of making a promise or vow, contingent on the fulfillment of some important wish. The celebration of this in the hamam was arranged and paid for by the person fulfilling his vow, and was open to one and all.
The hamam ceremony of mourning, on the other hand, was far different, but also widespread. The Hospitality bathing was simply the taking of one's house-guest to the hamam for a wash. Then there were the Circumcision, Groom's, and Off-to-the-Army bathings, and others besides. As we see, the whole culture of a people had the Turkish bath as one of its important nexuses.
Naturally, there was a range of equipment associated with a hamam visit, and until recently one might count from 15 to 20 articles in the bundle which a woman brought along with her. Let's see this bundles:
The "pestemal" (pesh-te-mahl), a large towel fringed at both ends and wrapped around the torso, from below the armpits to about mid-thigh , as the woman made her way to the "kurna" or marble basin. The pestemal would be striped or checked, a colored mixture of silk and cotton, or pure cotton, or even pure silk.
A pair of wooden clogs or patens, in Turkish "nalin", of which there were many varied types. Carved exquisitely, these patens kept the wearer's feet clear of the wet floor. They would be embellished in a number of ways, most often with mother-of-pearl, or even sheathed in tooled silver. They might have jingles, or a woven straw sheath, or be applied with felt or brass.
The "tas", or bowl for pouring water over the body, was always of metal. Weather silver, gilt or tinned copper, or of brass, the tas always had grooved and inlaid ornamentation.
One finds a soap case of metal, usually copper, with a handle on top like a handbag, and perforated at the bottom to allow water to run out. Not only soap goes into such a case, but also a coarse mitt for scouring down the skin, a webbing of date-palm or other fibers for lathering on the soap, and combs both fine and broad-toothed made of horn or ivory.
The "kese" (keh-seh), that rough cloth mitt carried in the soap case, not only scoured the dirt out of the pores, but served to deliver a bracing massage. The soaping web, on the other hand, was specially woven out of hair or plant fibers.
A small jewelry box is often included, and depending on the region will be of silver, copper or wood, sometimes covered with wicker, felt, velvet or silver. As she undresses in the hamam, the woman will remove her jewelry and place it in this box.
There are three towels for drying, one to go around the hair like a turban, one around the shoulders, and one around the waist.
The hamam carpet would be laid on the floor, then another cloth spread over it. Indeed, the name of the latter, "yaygi", contains the Turkish root for Quotspread". The woman would sit on the mat so formed to undress, and it was here that the bundle itself would be placed. After each trip to the hamam the spread would be washed and dried, then folded away in the bundle until the next time.
An inner bundle cloth was made of cambric, which can be repeatedly washed.
The outer bundle on the other hand, heavily embroidered, might be velvet, woolen or silken weave. In any case, it is always showy, suitable for the uses to which it is put on feast days and other special occasions.
The mirror was an indispensable item in the bundle, its frame and handle often of wood, but sometimes of silver or brass.
There might be a bowl for henna, which the woman would fill on arriving at the hamam. Aside from the color it lends, henna is considered to strengthen the hair. Henna is an old tradition for young girls before their marriage day; called as Henna night.
A very small container, made of tinned copper, was used to mash up an eyebrow darkener known as "rastik", especially popular with those of fair and auburn hair.
There is another box, this one for "surme", for the lids.
Attar of rose in a bottle, the bottle in turn kept in a wooden case, and inevitably found in the hamam bundle: No other perfume was considered proper for the newly washed body.
November 4, 2007
For millions of years, the mighty volcanoes of the Central Anatolian Plateau erupted and spewed their contents across the land that would become the cradle of civilization. Blessed with a moderate climate and fertile soil, one of the world's earliest known communities was founded 10,000 years ago at Catalhoyuk along the river banks of the Casambasuyu near Konya. Mankind's first nature painting was found here and it portrays the most recent eruption of Hasan Dagi almost 9000 years ago. Today, its snow capped peaks dominate the Konya plain, awash in golden hues where vast wheat fields blend subtly with the ochre colored soil and the monochromatic palette is interrupted only where rivers flow and tall poplars flaunt their greenery. read the complete article