ANTIQUE CARPETS characterized by a geometrized ornament , triangular and stepped ends of mihrab niches , and a laconic colour scheme . In addition to common Muslim attributes , the decor of these carpets contains traditional stylized motifs . They are connected with the Turkic roots of Anatolian carpet weaving and symbolise important concepts as fertility and motherhood , health and happiness , wealth and power , immortality of the soul and protection from evil forces . All carpets are woven from twisted wool with a symmetrical Turkish knot on a vertical hand loom . Despite these obvious similarities , compositional features , a shape of central niches , and a combination of colours , it is possible to distinguish among them the works of different centres in Western Anatolia , which gave names to certain types of items as Gordes , Kula , Milas .
Another group of prayer carpets in the collection is directly or indirectly related to the authorities ’ desire to have palace items in the classic Ottoman style .
During the reign of Abdul Hamid II ( 1876-1909 ), the production of pile carpets began in the famous Hereke textile workshops , founded in 1843 near Istanbul . Hereke carpets were created mainly for new Istanbul palaces and were decorated in the Persian style with elements of Turkish rococo that had come into fashion . Some of the museum ’ s silk carpets may be directly from Hereke , others were made by professional craftsmen in large workshops for the capital citizens or for sale in Europe . Traditional Anatolian geometric forms are transformed in their ornamentation into delicate curvilinear patterns . Austere gable arches take the form of rounded domes and borders are decorated with decorative inscriptions . A metal thread with soft iridescent silk colours gives special sophistication . Perhaps some of these carpets , especially those decorated with inscriptions that a Muslim should not stand on , were not used as prayer carpets , but were hung on the wall where they served as a mihrab . The small collection of the museum proves that the art of carpet weaving , which succeeded in Anatolia for several centuries , did not decline even at the end of the Ottoman Empire . Moreover , thanks to traditions and partly the policy of the authorities , the production oriented towards different consumers continued both in small workshops and in large urban centres and was in demand both at the Sultan ’ s court and in rural households . All of these items , which demonstrate the diversity of local traditions , have become a part of the artistic heritage of the 600-year-old Ottoman civilization .