Greek family donates 100-year-old carpet to its Turkish homeland

Monitoring Desk

KONYA: The third-generation grandchildren of a Greek family who immigrated from Konya to Greece in the 1920s donated a handcrafted carpet woven by their grandfather to the museum in Konya’s Sille district.

The historical district of Sille, 8 kilometers (4.97 miles) from the city center of Konya, is known for its nearly 5,000 years of history as host to various cultures and beliefs and was a famous center of pottery, carpets and stonemasonry until about two centuries ago.

All of these historical values of the district are now being introduced to visitors at the Sille Museum, where the handcrafted carpet will be exhibited.

The Greek family had immigrated from Sille to Greece a century ago under the Treaty of Lausanne. The handcrafted carpet, which was donated to the Sille Museum through an association founded by the third generation grandchildren of the family, adorns motifs of the region woven by their grandfathers.

Visitors inspect a historical 100-year-old carpet as it is displayed in the Sille Museum in the Sille district of Konya, Turkey, Aug. 11, 2021. (AA Photo)
Visitors inspect a historical 100-year-old carpet as it is displayed in the Sille Museum in the Sille district of Konya, Turkey, Aug. 11, 2021. (AA Photo)

Sercan Yayla, manager of the Museum, said that the historical carpet was one of the important works exhibited in the museum. Yayla stated that the association founded by the grandchildren of the family was trying to keep Sille culture and traditions alive there.

“Christian families here wove it before the population exchange in 1924 because they knew they wouldn’t be able to find quality carpets at their destination,” Yayla said. “Because they would miss Sille there, they embroidered vineyard houses and pitchers, since pottery is famous here. They embroidered the important places of Sille onto the carpet.”

“There is also a stylized version of the cross on the rims,” Yayla noted.

“The third-generation descendants of the non-Muslim family living in Greece donated this carpet to our museum to be exhibited in the land it belongs to. We thank the Moisoglu family.”

A person touches a historical 100-year-old carpet as it is displayed in the Sille Museum in the Sille district of Konya, Turkey, Aug. 11, 2021. (AA Photo)
A person touches a historical 100-year-old carpet as it is displayed in the Sille Museum in the Sille district of Konya, Turkey, Aug. 11, 2021. (AA Photo)

Yayla stated that the carpet was very well preserved. “We have taken the necessary precautions to prevent it from being worn-out and deteriorating. We are displaying it as a panel.”

“Sille has a very important place in carpet weaving. The astonishment of our visitors grows as they also hear the story of the carpet. The interest shown in this carpet is admirable. It is very nice to display it on the land it belongs to. I wish all our works abroad were exhibited in our homeland,” Yayla added.

Handan Bozkurt, who came to Sille from Erzincan, said that she visited the museum by chance. She noted that the museum was very organized and the artifacts were well preserved.

“The artifacts here also attracted the attention of children. We wander around with curiosity. I was very impressed by the story of the carpet. It is such a beautiful thing that it was taken from here, the motifs of Sille were embroidered on it and then it was donated here three generations later … It has a very beautiful story that will impress people.”

Courtesy: daily sabah

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