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Ayazama Mosque, Istanbul

Birdhouses of Turkey

Beautiful bird-houses can be spotted on the facade of a number of mosques in Turkey. The purpose of these charming bird houses was to provide refuge to birds and to protect them from…

Ortaköy Mosque

Ortaköy Mosque, Turkey

Ortaköy Mosque (Turkish: Ortaköy Camii), officially the Büyük Mecidiye Camii (Grand Imperial Mosque) of Sultan Abdülmecid in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus. The original Ortaköy Mosque was built in…

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Calligraphy – the geometry of the spirit

This article appeared on pages 16-27 of the September/October 1989 print edition of Saudi Aramco World. Islamic calligraphy is without doubt the most original contribution of Islam to the visual arts, yet it is only…

The Muslim World

Around the World with Nusret Colpan

Nusret Çolpan (October 1, 1952 – May 31, 2008) was a Turkish painter, architect and miniaturist, renowned for his paintings in Ottoman miniature style depicting cities around the world, particularly Istanbul. He painted over 300 miniatures in his 30…

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Calligraphic Galleon, 1766 AD

Flanked by two other galleons on the horizon, this carefully drawn imperial calligraphic galleon sits on a row of waves containing aphorisms. The imperial galleon with its wind-filled sails is an example of…

AN IZNIK POLYCHROME POTTERY DISH, TURKEY, CIRCA 1575

Iznik Pottery (16th Century)

This Turkish dish is one of the finest examples of Iznik ceramics anywhere. Painted with a masterful flourish, both delicate and striking, it features one of the earliest known combinations of flora and…

AN ILLUMINATED ALBUM PAGE OF CALLIGRAPHY

Illuminated Calligraphy

Ink, gouache and gold on paper, 6 lines of fine nasta’liq script in black ink within cloud bands filled with interlacing vines, and interspersed with polychrome flowers, headpiece with panels of coloured and…

Islamic Dynasties Chart

The Islamic Dyansties

This schematic chart provides a simplified picture of the political complexities of certain periods. (Large parts of Central Asia, China, South-east Asia and Africa have been omitted.)     islamic dynasties Magrib architecture…

Tughra of Suleiman the magnficient

Tughra of Suleiman the Magnificent

Calligraphy, from Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey AD 1520–1566 Between about 1350 and 1550 great swathes of the world were occupied by the superpowers of their day – from the Inca in South America to the…

The Suleymaniye Mosque - Walking Tour

The Suleymaniye Mosque – A Virtual Walking Tour

 This virtual tour is comprised of various spherical panoramic photographs that place you inside the image, as if you were standing in the place where the photo was made. Use your mouse to…

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Movable Palaces

From a distance indeed this great tent would appear to be a castle.… Round and about the pavilion on the ground outside is erected a wall of cloth, as might be otherwise the…

Made for the International Colonial Exhibition held in Amsterdam in 1883.

Carved stucco and stained glass window

Glazed windows of this type, both plain and decorative, are found in traditional buildings in Turkey and the Arab lands. They are usually set at a high level, over unglazed windows that are…

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