Skip to content

Modern Revivals

Traditional Arts in Turkey

Traditional arts in Turkey suffered greatly in 1928 when the new Turkish Republic changed the alphabet. The official script was changed from the Arabic script to the Latin alphabet. Consequently, the Ottoman past and its arts were somewhat left behind as Turkish culture began to align itself with western arts, and technology. However, beginning in the 1980s, traditional Islamic arts such as calligraphy, marbling, and ceramics experienced a revival in practice and popularity. This phenomenon was probably a result of the relative political stability of Turkey alongside a renewed interest in various cultural traditions. This revivalist movement was catalyzed by the demands of collectors, museums, and tourists, as well as the efforts of talented new artists. 


Marbled papers were traditionally considered an ancillary to book arts and calligraphy. Today, they also abide by modern abstract artistic trends, which put precedence on the formal values of color and form.

Marblers sprinkle paint onto a solution made from gun tragacanth that keeps the pigments suspended on its surface. Once finished with applying paint, the marbler can then manipulate the pigments on the surface of the solution into various swirls and designs with a comb or awl. Afterwards, a sheet of paper is carefully placed upon the surface. All of the pigments on the surface of the solution attach to the paper, leaving an impression that can look like waves, marble, or even flowers.