In the time of the Ottoman
Turkish arts were limited to the non-representational
because of the Islamic prohibition
of portraying any being "with an immortal
soul" (ie, a human or animal). No portraits,
Turkish artists turned their creativity
to the traditional arts of architecture,
calligraphy, textile design, marquetry,
stone-carving and pottery utilizing
plant motifs and geometric patterns.
Of course there were graphic artists
who ignored the prohibition during
Ottoman times, but their production
of Turkish miniatures and other representational
art was small and for the elite class.
With the creation of the Turkish
Republic (1923) and the secularization of the
state, Turkey saw an explosion
Drawing, painting, sculpture, photography
and filmmaking flourished as a new
generation enjoyed complete freedom
It didn't take long for Turkey to
develop a vibrant art scene, which
continues to broaden and deepen today.
Books about Turkish art and artists,
and books exhibiting the works of Turkish
artists, and artists who make art about
Turkey, are myriad. Look for them in
these bookshops in Istanbul.