Türkiye’s first lady introduced age-old Anatolian textiles at an exhibition to the wives of heads of state she hosted at the Turkish House in New York.
Speaking to her guests on Tuesday, Emine Erdogan said the Atlas of Turkish Weaving event was held “in order to add the unique cultural treasures of Anatolia to the universal heritage of humanity,” adding that the oldest weaving in the world found yet was unearthed in Anatolia and dates back some 9,000 years. Emine Erdogan is accompanying her husband, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attending the annual UN General Assembly meetings.
Noting that the oldest weaving samples were found in excavations at the famed site of Catalhoyuk, she said: “Art that was once woven on looms in homes continues to present a visual feast in Renaissance paintings in world museums today.”
Erdogan, who introduced the handmade textile products to her guests one by one at the exhibit, said the “rarest examples” of kemha weaving, which Westerners call brocade,began to be woven much earlier in the Turkish regions now known as Bursa and Amasra.
She said that during the Ottoman era, brokers sought out the colors and patterns of quality fabrics, and that the world’s first consumer laws were enacted in Istanbul.
“Our fabrics, which are woven from linen, silk, wool, and cotton threads and colored with natural dyes, have gained value not only for their durability but also for their protecting health.”
“As industrial fabrics appeal to the disposable society, they no longer have to worry about durability,” said Erdogan, adding that Turks were able to weave waterproof bristle tents “thousands of years before the invention of nanotechnology,” without using any synthetic materials.
Erdogan said Turkish textile masters are registered in the inventory of Living Human Treasures in the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The wives of the leaders of Kenya, Serbia, Albania, Croatia and North Macedonia were also present at the event.
Impressed by the products shown, the wives of the leaders praised the Turkish textile industry and thanked Erdogan for her contributions to the Atlas of Turkish Weaving.
Also in attendance were Family and Social Services Minister Mahinur Ozdemir Goktas, Industry and Technology Minister Fatih Kacir, and Trade Minister Omer Bolat.