The Black Tent Project

Greater Anatolia Rug and Textile Study Tour

In partnership with

May 23-June 5, 2024

In this carpet & textile STUDY TOUR, we will explore Istanbul, Bursa, Bergama, İzmir, Tire-Birgi, Ankara, Cappadocia, Sultanhanı, and Konya.


‘HALI is delighted to be offering our first tour in Turkey—in partnership with The Black Tent Project—timed to precede ICOC XV in Istanbul. Having travelled throughout Turkey over many years, I am constantly thrilled by the country’s artistic, historic and cultural riches, and its fascination for those of us who appreciate rugs, textiles and weaving. Travelling through urban and rural regions with names familiar from rug terminology is the ideal way in which to immerse oneself in people, places and their traditions. Encountering rugs, textiles, costume and materials first-hand in their place of origin is endlessly enriching. With an intricate knowledge of Anatolian weaving traditions and the cultural landscape, there is no-one better positioned to act as guide to this material in Turkey than Deniz Coşkun. Guests participating on this study tour can expect to learn a fantastic amount from him and his many contacts in the field.’

Ben Evans, HALI Editor

Timed to take place over the fortnight before the conference begins, this tour package includes 13 nights’ accommodation in handpicked 4- and 5-star hotels, travel in an air-conditioned private coach, two internal flights, 13 hotel breakfasts, 12 lunches and 9 dinners in local restaurants.

This study tour will be guided by the wool, weaving and dyeing expert, and professional state-licensed tour leader, Deniz Coşkun and operated by Çetinaktif Tours & Travel TÜRSAB Agency License nr: 3899


    • Seljuk and Ottoman workshop and village carpets in museums and private collections
    • Private view of a tent band collection containing unusual examples
    • Introduction to yellow ground Aksaray-Konya Cappadocian carpets of the type mentioned in Marco Polo’s travel chronicles
    • Presentation, ‘Felts, Rugs, and Tulus’ by the longstanding Anatolian rug and textile expert, Udo Hirsch
    • Demonstrations of hand-spun silk yarn production and parchment paper making
    • Civil architecture, from 14th-century mosques to 18th-century mansions
    • Contribute to a madder yarn-dying project while in transit by private coach
    • Meet experienced weavers in rural Greater Anatolia

The Itinerary:

Thursday May 23, 2024
Arrive independently to Istanbul. Complimentary transfer from the airport to the hotel. Free time to rest and acclimatise. While the tour activities begin the following day, there may be the opportunity to informally meet the other tour guests in the hotel. Night 1 of 3 in a 4-star hotel in Istanbul’s Old Town.

Day 1
Friday May 24, 2024
9am departure from the hotel. Drive with Bosphorus views, to the Sadberk Hanim or Sabanci Museum (depending on current exhibitions). Afternoon visit to TIEM—the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, housed in an old palace belonging to the Grand Vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent, containing a wonderful collection of early Islamic Seljuk and Ottoman carpets and other artifacts. Lecture on classical Ottoman and Safavid court carpets and their connections. Free time at the hotel. Welcome dinner at a traditional restaurant. Night 2 of 3 in a 4-star hotel in Istanbul’s Old Town.

Day 2
Saturday May 25, 2024
Topkapi Palace with its incredibly beautiful harem, newly opened sections and the remarkable costume galleries—recently redesigned and expanded—displaying costumes and textiles belonging to Ottoman Sultans and their family members. The new Islamic art section also contains many textile artifacts. Afternoon visit to the 6th-century Sergius & Bacchus Church, now  a mosque. Refreshments will be served in a small madrasa with crafts exhibited on the return to the hotel. Dinner at a traditional restaurant. Night 3 of 3 in a 4-star hotel in Istanbul’s Old Town.

Sadberk Hanim Museum -Istanbul

Turkish and Islamic Art Museum-Istanbul












Day 3
Sunday May 26, 2024
Depart Istanbul at 8 am for a two-hour drive to Bursa. Visit the Green Shrine, and the Islamic Art Museum of Bursa, housed in the former medrese (seminary) of the Yeşil Cami Mosque. After lunch, discover a small and valuable private collection of silk textiles in the medieval marketplace Aynali Carsi and silk yarn processing in extraction workshops still operating as they did in Ottoman times. Private folk-art museum containing old Ottoman costumes and textiles. Visit to one of the early Ottoman sultan’s 15th-century mausoleums. Free time and independent dinner. Night 1 of 1 in Crowne Plaza, Bursa.


Day 4
Monday May 27, 2024
Depart Bursa at 8 am for a three-hour drive to Bergama–Pergamon: a center of Greek and Roman culture and the origin of the famous Pergamon Altar, now housed in Berlin’s Pergamon Museum. Visit the Bergama Archaeology Museum which has a rich collection of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. After lunch, visit a revival parchment workshop—parchment was invented after the embargo of papyrus to Asia Minor by the Egyptians. Two-hour drive to the town of Tire. Visit to a workshop weaving Beledi silk-cotton mix fabric. Dinner at a traditional restaurant. Night 1 of 1 in Wyndham-Ramada, Tire.

Day 5
Tuesday May 28, 2024
Visit a felt-making workshop and the Tire Museum with a collection of local ethnographic artifacts and other art objects. 1-hour drive to the Ottoman Town of Birgi. Visit Cakir Aga Konak, a marvellous Ottoman mansion built in 1761 and walk to the oldest mosque of Mehmet Bey dating to 1312, with an interesting pulpit. After lunch, a 2-hour drive to Izmi̇r. Visit the Arkas Art Bornova, a public art and cultural centre created to house and display the Arkas Collection of historical Turkish carpets. Lecture on the carpets and the story of the Arkas Collection). Night 1 of 1 in Kordon Otel, Izmir. Free time and independent dinner.

18th Century-Çakıraga Mansion

14th-Century Mehmet Bey Mosque










Day 6
Wednesday May 29, 2024
30-minute drive to Izmir Airport for a 1-hour flight to Ankara, the capital of Turkey. After lunch, visit the State Vakiflar Kilim and Rug Museum, containing the most important, largest and best collection of kilims and rugs of all the Vakiflar museums. Deniz Coskun will explain these special pieces covering their historical background, weaving structures and natural dyes. The Ethnography Museum holding rugs and rare samples of ethnographic textiles and artifacts. Dinner at a local restaurant. Night 1 of 2 in Limak Ambassadore Hotel, Ankara.

Thursday May 30, 2024
1-hour drive to a Mohair weaving centre and a goat farm—the centre of the famous medieval sof/camlet mohair fabric woven and exported to Europe from the 14th to late 19th centuries. After Lunch, visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum—The Met’s current Museum of Turkey—containing an outstanding chronology of archaeological artifacts from the Neolithic era to recent years including deciphered Hittite cuneiform tablets. Dinner at a local restaurant. Night 2 of 2 in Limak Ambassadore Hotel, Ankara.



Day 8
Friday May 31, 2024
Early 3-hour drive to Cappadocia through a wonderful lunar landscape. Free time at the hotel. After lunch, view the private kilim and tent band collection belonging to one of the most famous collectors in Cappadocia, who is also an expert on Central Anatolian eating mats. Lecture on the famous Uchisar-Aksaray rugs Marco Polo mentions in his chronicles. Dinner at a local restaurant. Night 1 of 2 in an atmospheric cave hotel, Cappadocia.

Day 9
Saturday June 1, 2024
Drive to the ancient village of Soğanlı. Visit ancient monasteries with impressive frescos. Visit a Turkic shrine and Seljuk mosque to hear about shamanism, the early Turkic belief, continuing within Islam. Drive to Güzelyurt to visit the legendary German collector and lecturer, Udo Hirsch, one of the most eminent and experienced textile researchers in Turkey. Late lunch at Udo’s guest house—authentic Anatolian wine and cheese, molasses and tahini produced by Udo and Hacer will be served. Independent Dinner. Night 2 of 2 in an atmospheric cave hotel, Cappadocia.

The Turkic Shrine-14th Century

Inside of a 4th Century-Monastery-Cappadocia














Day 10
Sunday June 2, 2024
2-hour drive to Konya with a stopover in Sultanhani—a village famous for its rug restoration operations. Visit a rug exhibition in a Seljuk Caravanserai and a restoration workshop to see how worn rugs are brought a new lease of life by skilful conservator-weavers. 1-hour drive to Konya. Dinner at a local restaurant. Night 1 of 3 in the Hilton, Konya.

Day 11
Monday June 3, 2024
Visit the Shrine of Whirling Dervish – Celaleddin to hear a talk about Rumi, the Sufis and their mystic life. Visit the only surviving felt-making master in Konya who is also a Dervish. Listen to the story of wool and felt coming from Central Asia to Anatolia. After lunch, a 1-hour drive to Kilistra village to visit Christian caves and local dwellings, meeting with villagers. Independent dinner. Night 2 of 3 in the Hilton, Konya

Day 12
Tuesday June 04, 2024
Konya highlights—Karatay Madrasa Ceramic Museum, The Thin Minaret Seljuk Art Museum, followed by a short walk to the oldest mosque in Konya—the Mosque of Aleaaddin Keykubat, the Seljuk Sultan. After lunch, visit the Ethnography Museum which holds Seljuk and classical Ottoman village rugs as well as fragments of various fabric weavings and embroidery. Dinner at a local restaurant. Night 3 of 3 in the Hilton, Konya.

Kilistra village Early Christian Settlements


Day 13
Wednesday June 5, 2024
Free morning with optional market visit. Flight to Istanbul from Konya airport (arriving 17.45) and transfer to the city centre.


$5,980 per person
$800 single supplement
(US dollars)

20% deposit of $1,196 per person
Remaining balance is due by 23 April 2024

Payments should be made by bank transfer to the account detailed on the booking form.



Places are limited. Please complete the booking form by clicking on the button below, and submit it to HALI at the end of the form to secure your place.




  • Transfer from Istanbul airport to the hotel upon arrival
  • Travel by private, air-conditioned coach
  • Two internal flights Izmir–Ankara and Konya–Istanbul
  • Hotel accommodation as described
  • Full-time services of experienced guide, Deniz Coşkun
  • All admissions
  • All state taxes
  • All breakfasts in hotels, 12 lunches and 8 dinners in selected restaurants with soft drinks
  • Accommodation in 4- and 5-star hotels
  • Tips for hotel staff

Not included:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Flights to join/depart the tour which begins and ends in Istanbul
  • Tips for coach drivers (recommended amount $10 per guest per day)
  • Personal needs (laundry, hotel extras, phone calls, etc.)


Please note: Independent travel should be arranged to join the tour which begins and ends in Istanbul, Turkey

It may be necessary to slightly amend the programme according to local conditions

Group size 12–22 people, excluding staff

Please note: Independent travel should be arranged to join the tour which begins and ends in Istanbul, Turkey once the tour organisers have confirmed that the tour will go ahead by email

The average temperature in Turkey in May is 57–68 degrees F. (14–20 degrees C.)

This tour has an easy to moderate activity rating. You will be expected to walk at a gentle but steady pace for a distance of 1 mile at a time and to stand without support for up to 30 minutes. If you have any concerns about whether this tour is suitable for your fitness level, please call Rachel Meek at HALI to discuss your needs on +44 (0)20 3370 7572


Tour Leader: Deniz Coşkun

Born in 1980 in Istanbul, Deniz discovered the fascinating world of carpets in 1992, while he was studying at a respected French high school in Istanbul. While studying Chemical Engineering at university, he took up hand weaving and natural dyeing. Having graduated, he pursued his dreams of becoming a specialist in nomadic, cottage and semi-nomadic village weavings by studying the subject with scholars and expert dealers.

Fascinated by Anatolian Turkmen nomads’ weaving style, he travelled in Central Anatolia’s Taurus Mountains, living among Turkmen tribes. He witnessed continuing tribal and ethnic social structures that have existed in Anatolia since the Ottoman era, and presented comprehensive studies mostly centred around weaving and textiles.

Deniz gives speeches on wool and dyes at international events, mentors natural dyers and runs international weaving courses. Now he dedicates his time to organizing cultural and textile-oriented tours, as well as walking and hiking adventures, in Anatolia. His guests will not only experience local culture via unique contact with people in rural Anatolia, but will also be able to enjoy amazing landscapes, architecture, art and traditional Anatolian cuisine, descended from the days of the Ottoman Empire.


“We had the great good fortune to have as our guide Deniz Coşkun. His knowledge of all aspects of Turkish history, culture, archaeology, and architecture is not only encyclopedic but entertaining and inspiring, ranging from 9,000-year-old sites and artifacts to modern social issues. As well as the extraordinary things that we saw in museums, Deniz introduced us to the whole process of nomadic rug creation, from small shops selling shepherds’ supplies—bells, plastic shovels, brightly woven harnesses—to visiting old friends boiling up vats of vegetable dyes to colour the wool for the village women to carry on weaving, meeting rug collectors and dealers who, through decades spent in this trade, have become experts and historians of their craft. There were even demonstrations of how madder and cochineal dyes behave with different mordants. It was such an inspirational first encounter with Turkey that I am looking forward to joining Deniz once again on another tour this summer.”


“During the tour, we often shared our appreciation and delight in Deniz, his careful attention to us all, his stories and his wit. Most exciting and enriching on this amazing tour was his encyclopedic knowledge. It was often obvious he has a real love of weaving culture which especially enriched our appreciation and feeling for the people we met and places we explored. It was great to see how many people in Turkey knew him and knew of his exceptional work with natural dyes, and so many of the old ways of the Anatolian nomads.”


“Deniz’s scientific knowledge of vegetable dyeing wool and silks was remarkable, adding to a most interesting and valuable experience for us all. Pointing out madder plants growing wild within the Chalcolithic
archaeological site from 7500 BC highlighted how plant dyeing would have developed through observance and experimentation through time. Later we spent time in Konya observing how he practices dyeing with indigo and dyer’s weld to make a glorious green”.


“Deniz organized a 10-day research trip for a small specialist team in 2023. Starting in Istanbul, we travelled to Konya and several neighbouring weaving villages, to Cappadocia, and to the Taurus mountains. Not only is he an experienced guide with a high level of professionalism, and attention to eventuality and the requirements of a specific group, but he also draws on an infectious enthusiasm and personal passion for weaving, rugs and textiles. His detailed knowledge of the practical aspects of weaving and its connections with pastoralist and transhumant culture and communities offered important context and perspective. His great breadth and depth of knowledge regarding Anatolia’s complex history and open-minded curiosity were great assets to the expedition. He also acted as translator during our interviews, which along with his easy rapport was invaluable in answering our weaving-specific questions.”


“A memorable week was spent in mid-August 2018 in Western Taurus mountains during the first trekking tour of The Black Tent Project, organized and guided by Mr. Deniz Coskun. The magic of the adventure lies in following the ancient steps of the tribes in their multi-centenar summer migrations on ways that were about to be forgotten for many decades if these were not rediscovered by Mr. Coskun. In addition to the overwhelming beauty of the sites and the yaylas, the whole tribal atmosphere created by Deniz Coskun through the genuine black tent itself, the splendid woven sacks and especially the daily nomadic life. should also add to the interesting communication that occurred with the nomads encountered on our way. The communication that also happened with the tour friends was also highly enriching. Finally words alone would never totally express the feelings of every moment lived in the Mt. AkDag. Simply a unique lifetime experience”

All the images, diagrams, and text presented in this site are copyright © of The Black Tent Project inc. and are protected under Turkish, International, and United States copyright laws and Berne Convention provisions. They cannot be reproduced, copied, used, altered, or printed in any way, single or combined with any other images, by use of computer or other electronic means, without specific permission and payment of a fee or arrangement thereof. By entering to this website you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions of this agreement. All electronic entries are logged and kept under documents.