Buying Turkish carpets

Image: a Yagci Bedir Turkish carpet

One of the most valued presents that travellers buy in Turkey is, of course, a Turkish carpet. There are many well-stocked shops in the villages along the coast of the Turkish Riviera where our luxury gulet ‘MS Odysseus’ visits. You will be spoilt for choice but choosing the right carpet for you is not easy.

It is very important to know the dimensions of the carpet you need and the general colour scheme which will harmonise with your room dimension before you arrive.

The colours range from warm tobacco colours to deep reds and blues in a limitless range of patterns. They are handmade with unique knots and colours made from vegetable dyes and infinitely patterned with floral and geometric designs. There is also the issue of quality measured in knots per square inch or centimetre.

Turkish carpets are made in wool or silk at more than 25 centres, often in villages on looms installed in carpet makers’ houses. Some of the better known names are Milas, Yagci Bedir (pictured here), the luxurious Kongya-Kadik or the more expensive Hereke or Kayseri.

Sizes are more or less 3 x 2 metres, 22.2 x 1.5, 1.8 x 1.2, 1.35 x 0.9, 1 x 0.6 and 0.4 x 0.25 – pillow size. There are also runners to be found. Do choose a reputable, expert dealer and enjoy the experience of exploring. You must allow time to look and learn.