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Private Arts & Crafts Tour in Turkey

Tour Description
Itinerary
Map

Starting with Istanbul enjoying Istanbul's best known sites. Visit Bursa and Iznik for tiles and ceramic art and embroidery. Visit Kutahya for tiles and pottery, Eskisehir for white gold. We see Anatolian Civilisations Museum and Mausoleum of Ataturk in Ankara. Then visit Cappadocia where nature and man have competed with each other to create the most unusual landscape. Proceed to Konya the city of Rumi and whirling dervishes. Visit Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Final visit to Ephesus and House of Mary

Highlights

  • Istanbul (Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Grand Bazaar, Handicraft workshops at Caferaga Medrese))
  • Bursa & Inegol
  • Kutahya (tiles and pottery)
  • Eskisehir (white gold)
  • Ankara (Anatolian Civilisations Museum & Ataturk's Mausoleum)
  • Cappadocia (Goreme Open Air Museum, Zelve, Devrent Valley, Kaymakli Underground City, Soganli Valley, Ceramic tile making, Pottery)
  • Konya (City of Rumi & Whriling Dervishes)
  • Pamukkale (Hierapolis)
  • Kusadasi (Ephesus, House of Mary)

Included

  • 15 Nights accommodation at estimated hotels or similar
  • Daily breakfast and 4 dinners at Hotels
  • Transportation by A/C vehicles
  • English speaking, professional tour guide throughout the tour
  • All Entrance fees to the sites & museums indicated in the program
  • Workshops at Caferaga Medrese
  • Private boat during Bosphorus tour in Istanbul
  • Glass blowing atelier in Istanbul
  • Tips to the hotel and restaurant staff
  • Service charges & local taxes

Excluded

  • All personal expenses
  • Visa fee
  • International & domestic flights
  • Beverages during meals
  • All other items not specifically mentioned as included

Please Note

Summer : Light comfortable clothing and shoes. Sunglasses, suncream, hat and camera. Winter : Warm casual, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, hat and camera.

Itinerary

Day 1 ISTANBUL (D)
Arrive in Istanbul, meet & greet by the local tour guide and transfer to Hotel.

Afternoon; embark private boat for cruise along the Bosphorus. Bosphorus; is a great source of pride to Istanbul’s residents and one of the city’s most important source of transportation. It also provides a scenic means of viewing both the European and Asian sides of this fascinating city. Both sides includes, 19th and 20th century wooden houses, villas, palaces, castles, small fishing villages, forests of cypress, pine and magnolia trees. Pass by the “Kuleli Military Academy", where Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, once studied. Further along see the "Beylerbeyi Palace" summer residence and the guest house of the Ottoman Sultans.

Dinner will be served at the hotel

Day 2 ISTANBUL (B)
After breakfast, we start discover Istanbul, visit the legendary Blue Mosque, named for the beautiful blue Iznik tiles that cover its walls. Then stroll around the historical Hippodrome where chariot races were held. Continue to St. Sophia, originally a Christian Basilica built by Justinian in the 6th century, then converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. See the beautiful mosaics on display at the museum.

Visit of Caferaga Theological School and join in their work shops. Caferaga Medresesi was built in 1559 by Sinan with the orders of Caferaga, a eunuch during the reign of Sultan Suleyman The Magnificent. The medresseh, was changed by Turkish Cultural services Foundation, where Traditional Turkish handicrafts are taught, made and sold (1989). Medresseh is a world of its own being center of the historical texture of the city and outside the city atmosphere.

Marbling : The Turkish art of ebru (marbling) which is known to be practiced in Istanbul for more than five hundred years and known as "Turkish paper" for centuries in the western world certainly has a tradition which is passed from generation to generation by a master and apprentice relationship. The most important evidence that ebru is a Turkish art with origins from Central Asia is its terminology in the European languages. The words "battal", "tarakli", get-gel", kumlu" etc. are all used to mean the same thing in almost all countries where ebru is practiced. One of the most important characteristics of our tradition is the use of natural earth pigments which belong to the chemical family of metal-oxides and other natural dyeing material all of which are not chemically soluble in water.
* Workshop maximum is 24 persons.

Calligraphy : When we speak of Turkish calligraphy, we refer to writing of aesthetic value in characters based on the Arabic script, which the Turks had adopted as their writing medium after their conversion to Islam. The Arabic characters gradually assumed an aesthetic function after the advent of Islam, and this process gathered momentum from the mid-eighth century onwards, so that calligraphy was already a significant art discipline by the time the Turks joined the Islamic world. The most succinct definition of calligraphy formulated by Islamic writers is, "Calligraphy is a spiritual geometry produced with material tools." The aesthetic values implied by this definition held true for centuries.
* Workshop maximum is 30 persons.

Jewellery: Explore various techniques, texture, forms and diversity.
* Workshop maximum is 20 persons.

Day 3 ISTANBUL (B)
Explore the true nature and the potential of glass, and develop your skills. The Glass Furnace provides an environment that allows and encourages creativity with education programs at all levels; for those who are new to the art of glass and those who have worked with glass before.
The programs cover instruction on theory, techniques, and materials. Most courses offered are intensive two-week courses, however, there are also courses of longer durations. Most classes provide introduction to various techniques. All of the classes are given by instructors with international teaching backgrounds. The aim is to equip the students with basic skills necessary for working with glass, as well as to develop their aesthetic sensibilities.

Bead Making:
Turning colorfull glass rods to beatiful beads with a torch flame…
Glass Blowing:
Shaping and blowing the liquid glass and giving the form before it gets cold…
Fusing:
Designing with 2 or more colored flat glass and merging them together with the help of the heat.

Day 4 ISTANBUL/IZNIK (B, D)
Drive to Iznik,
Tiles, Another art form is glazed earthenware tiles, which were brought to Anatolia by the Seljuks. Seljuk artists were especially successful at creating animal designs. The glazed earthenware tiles initiated in the 14th century in İznik, in the 15th century in Kütahya and in the 17th century in Çanakkale, made a posıtıve contributıon and brought new interpretations to Ottoman ceramic and glazed earthenware tile art. Between the 14 and 19th centuries, Turkish glazed earthenware tiles and ceramic art became world famous for their extraordinary creative workmanship.

Visit Nicea was once the capital of the Byzantine Empire and there are a number of reminders of its past glory in this town. We will see the Hagia Sophia Church (Aya Sofya), one of the town’s oldest monuments. Hagia Sophia is significant because this was where the Nicene Creed was created.

Continue to Bursa.
Visit the Green Mosque, the Green Tomb and Bursa's colorful Silk Bazaar.

Embroidery, a unique example of Turkish handicrafts, is not only used for decoration but also as a means of communication tool with the symbolism in its designs. Today, embroidery made with tools such as the crochet needle, needle, shuttle and hairpin designed either as a border or motif, and goes by different names according to the implement used and the technique. These include; needle, crochet needle, shuttle, hairpin, silk cocoon, wool, candle stick, bead and left-over cloth. Embroidery is generally seen in the provinces of Kastamonu, Konya, Elazığ, Bursa, Bitlis, Gaziantep, İzmir, Ankara, Bolu, Kahramanmaraş, Aydın, İçel, Tokat and Kütahya, although it is gradually losing importance and becoming restricted to trousseau chests. We will have chance to see some examples in Bursa.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel

Day 5 BURSA/KUTAHYA/ESKISEHIR (B, D)
Continue to Kutahya. Kutahya is located in Western Turkey, lying on the Porsuk River. Kutahya’s vast clay deposit has been used to produce pottery continuously since Phrgian times and the city has been a centre of Turkish tile and pottery manufacture since the 14th century. The best known example of 16th century is an ewer dated 1510 with an Armenian inscription explaining that it was made in commemoration of Abraham of Kutahya. The banded decoration consists of hatayi and rumi scrolls.

The Turkish traveller Evliya Celebi who visited Kutahya in 1671-2, reports that while there were just nine tile manufactories in Iznik there were thirthy-four in “the infidel tile makers district” of Kutahya. Evidently while production was dropping in Iznik the potteries of Kutahya were thriving.

Continue to Eskisehir. Dinner and overnight at the hotel

Day 6 ESKISEHIR/ANKARA (B, D)
Eskisehir is located at Northwest of Anatolia region. The city is neighbor to Black Sea region at North, Marmara region at Northwest, Aegean region at Southwest.
Eskisehir is well known with Meerschaum (white gold). Meerschaum may have white, yellowish, gray or reddish and opaque colors. Its hardness degree is between 2-2.5, and it is lightly adhesive and porous. It is extracted from a depth of 20-60-130 meters of the ground as big and small knobs. Small knobs are collected by digging deep wells and tunnels connected to these wells. Export of Meerschaum has brought 800-900 thousand dollars income between years 1978-1987. In addition to tobacco pipes, products like chess sets, bracelets, necklaces and earrings have an important ratio in export. Customers are USA, Austria, Holland, Belgium and Germany. Nowadays, the amount of export is at least 1-1.5 million for a year. Furthermore, some value is added to Turkish economy by selling handworks made by Meerschaum to tourists come to Turkey.

Continue to Ankara. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7 ANKARA/CAPPADOCIA (B, D)
Start your tour at the Anatolian Civilization Museum in Ankara with its impressive exhibit on the ancient Hittite Civilization of Anatolia. Continue to the Ataturk Mausoleum, the resting place of the father of the modern Republic of Turkey. En route to the region of Cappadocia, visit the 13th century Agzikarahan Caravanserai. Arrive in Cappadocia for dinner and overnight.

Day 8 CAPPADOCIA (B, D)
Optional: Early morning departure for balloon ride.

In the morning visit the rock-carved churches in the Goreme Valley with magnificent 11th and 12th century frescoes, explore the natural citadel of Uchisar.

Afternoon observe pottery making, doll making, local handicrafts
A tour through the world of Turkish handicrafts. From traditional earthenware pots, beautiful marbled papers and elaborate Islamic calligraphy, to the painstaking knotting of carpets and kilims. You will have a chance to try how to make the pottery.
Soganli ladies have been making rag dolls for centuries by using very simple but specific Anatolian patterned fabrics to earn a life. The story started 50 years ago when Hanife grandma made a doll for her granddaughter's school task. While Döndü was going to school, the travellers came across on the way with Döndü and loved that pretty handmade rag doll which they were eager to purchase. Afterwards, the ladies of the v illage came out with an idea of making such beautiful hand made dolls to sell to travellers visiting their village..
Tonight dinner and a local floorshow in a rock carved local restaurant. Overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 9 CAPPADOCIA/KONYA (B, D)
Proceed to Konya, dinner and overnight at Konya.
Drive along the "Silk Road", to the Caravanserai of Sultanhani, built as a safe heaven for traders who frequently traveled this road.
Visit Karatay Medrassah with the collection of tiles and Mevlana Museum which is one of the most important museums in Turkey for the ancient Turkish rugs.

Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 10 KONYA/PAMUKKALE (B, D)
Continue to Pamukkale, known as the “cotton castle” because of the hot spring, calcium laden waters which cascade across terraced limestone pools. Visit the ruins of the ancient Roman spa, Hierapolis. See the amphitheater, the city gates and the colonnaded streets.

Late afternoon visit Buldan for cloth workshops. See and discover these famous fabrics in place.

Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 11 KUŞADASI (B, D)
Departure to Kusadasi. Visit Ephesus, one of the most extensively excavated and restored Greco - Roman sites in the world revealing the grandeur of bygone centuries. The city played a major role in the development of architecture, religion, and arts. Ephesus is another city of the Seven Churches of the Revelation, St. Paul lived here and preached here, and the Third Ecumenical Council of the early Christian Church was held here. Tour the ancient city with its legendary marble streets, the magnificent theater, Hadrian's temple and the Library of Celsus.

Visit House of Mary, where she is believed to have spent her last day.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 12 ISTANBUL (B)
Transfer to Izmir airport for noon flight. Upon arrival to Istanbul transfer to Hotel for overnight.

Visit Topkapi Palace, legendary residence of the Ottoman Sultans. including the Harem Quarter.
Explore the exhilarating Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.

Day 13 DEPARTURE (B)
Transfer to airport for your flight to home.



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