Classification of Turkish Handicrafts

Anatolia, occupied by many cultures throughout the history, has been the centre of various handicrafts developed for the purposes of transportation and accommodation. Eşberk (1939) and Arlı (1990) classify the Turkish handicrafts according to the raw materials used as follows:

  • Fibers as raw materials (embroidery & weaving): Carpets, kilims, socks, pullovers, curtains, headscarves, any type of covering cloths, etc. Weaving materials in traditional Turkish handicrafts consist of wool, mohair, cotton, bristles and silk.
  • Trees as raw materials: Hand stamping presses, thread spinning tools, oxcarts, kitchen utensils, accessories for daily usage such as cigarette holders, walking sticks/canes, prayer beads, architectural elements such as doors, windows, locks, musical instruments such as shepherd’s pipes and drums.
  • Stone as raw materials: Architectural elements such as gravestones, fountains, mosque niches, mosque doors, etc., accessories for daily usage such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, chests, etc.
  • Earth as raw materials: Vases, bowls, pottery products, ceramics, glazed earthenware tiles.
  • Metal as raw materials: Architectural elements such as door knobs, locks, kitchen utensils such as knives, wall plates, heating instruments such as stoves, agricultural tools such as shovels, jewelry.
  • Glass as raw materials: Various types of blue beads (to ward of the evil eye), çeşm-i bülbüls, stained glass, jewelry and accessories.
  • Leather and animal waste as raw materials: Dressing elements such as hats, boots, belts, daily belongings such as cases, cigarette holders.
  • Thin branches, stalks and tree stripes as raw materials: Basket weaving, furniture making, bags, straw mats, etc.

In addition one more category can be added to the above classifications:

  • Paper and dye as raw materials:

Calligraphy which is the art of fine handwriting with aesthetic principles, and Ebru.


The image maps different types of Turkish handicrafts based on the location of their productions. Figure 8 shows some examples of Turkish handicrafts and their production processes.