Postcard of the Week: Turkish Ceramics
Although it looks like a photo, this is in fact a postcard, which I picked up last summer in Göcek, on Turkey’s Dalaman coast. We spent an idyllic week sailing from Marmaris to Fethiye aboard the yacht of a family friend, John. Here’s my full blog post on our week of sailing, swimming and sunbathing, about here’s my previous Postcard of the Week from the Turkish Coast.
But I picked up this postcard, not because it reminds me of a quaint villa we stayed in (as we barely spent more than a few hours onshore throughout the entire week, as we slept aboard the yacht) but I chose to buy it simply because the design attracted me. Portugal is proud of its famous azulejos, which are blue and white tiles decorating the external walls of old buildings (yes, I have a Postcard of the Week for them too!) and these ceramic tiles in Turkey stuck me as very similar. They are a lovely way to brighten up an otherwise plain wall and they reflect the rich artistic heritage of Turkey.
This style of ceramic art is known as Iznik pottery, so-named after the city in north-west Turkey where it originated back in the 15th century. One characteristic of Iznik pottery is the distinctive cobalt blue, bole red and emerald green colours that adorn the tiles on this postcard. The flower design itself is also reminiscent of styles traditionally used up until the 17th century, when the production of Iznik ceramics entered decline. As with many other traditional arts and crafts around the world, modern-day attention to interior design has once again prompted their production, and had I come across some of this pottery on the mainland then I’m sure I would snapped up a piece or two. As well as tiles, plates are often produced in similar patterns and designs. It’s the contrast of the bold colours on the clean, pure white background that grabs my eye.