Textiles of Asia Minor & Taurus Mountains
Tour Start Dates:
* June 23 - July 5, 2024
* September 8 - September 20, 2024
GUARANTEED DEPARTURE: Minimum 4 persons (these tours are guaranteed to depart with minimum 4 persons.)
On the footsteps of ancient Anatolian Turkmens and Lycians
Textiles of Asia Minor & Taurus Mountains is an interactive tour of 13 days in which our guests will develop a deep understanding of Turkish culture, Turkish textiles, cuisine, and local history.
The history of Anatolian/Turkish textiles will be pursued in Istanbul with visits to the museums and some shops around the Grand Bazaar. Also, our guests will feel and experience the cosmopolitan infrastructure of the city while visiting religious and cultural centers such as the Jewish community center and the historical Kadikoy market. The diversity of cultures, races, ethnicities, and their impact on social life is strikingly harmonious altogether. We should not forget to mention the delicious examples of Turkish cuisine which will create a festive occasion at each meal.
The nomad way! This will be our real perception of the world for one week in the company of real nomads. We will stay in a black nomad tent, woven on a rug-weaving loom by carpet weavers, and we will migrate from one pasture to another. During this period, we will process wool from the fleece to the carpet, comb, spin, dye the wool, weave, understand, and implement the basics of textile weaving. We will walk through forests and plains to arrive at one of the biggest nomadic encampment areas of Southwest Anatolia. We will also learn how to make Anatolian Turkmen bread and cheese together.
Day 1 – Arrival in Istanbul. Private Transfer to your hotel in the old town. Orientation and welcome dinner. D.
Day 2 – We will begin our journey by visiting the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, one of the most famous museums in the world with its unique and beautiful Turkish textiles and Antique Turkish Carpets collection. We will see carpets from the Seljuk era, early and classical period Ottoman workshop, and village carpets; we will observe them with a technical view and try to understand the sociocultural atmosphere in which these carpets were produced. After a short visit to the Spice Market, we will visit the Jewish center of Istanbul, observe the Jewish Heritage of the ancient capital of an immense empire, see the Galata tower, talk about Genovese and Levantine heritage of the city with a small excursion of the neighborhood. We will take the ferry to Kadıköy market for dinner, we will talk about the Bosphorus and its diverse culture during the ferry journey, and before dinner, a small excursion in the marketplace of two hundred years will be very enjoyable. Overnight in old Istanbul. B.L.D.
Day 3- We explore some private collections with their extensive inventories of carpets gathered from Anatolia, mostly coming from the rug-weaving looms of three major carpet-making centers: Ushak, Bergama, and Konya. Some of those carpets may even remain from the 15th century. Then we will have a lunch in Bosphorus area of the city. After lunch the Sadberk Hanim Museum which is one of the great Anatolian textile and ethnographic art museums of Turkey will be waiting for us. The museum contains over 20,000 artifacts, including great Ottoman textile weaving wonders, costumes, Iznik ceramics, and ethnographic art objects. Overnight in old Istanbul. B. L. DINNER on OWN.
Day 4 – Morning flight to Dalaman, to the southwest of the country, and drive for 3-3.5 hours to arrive at our encampment in the center of the Western Taurus Mountains, at 1.000 meters / 3000 feet of altitude. We will meet with our team, and settle in under our big black nomad tent woven on handlooms by Turkish carpet weavers. Each guest will be given a chuval – a nomadic sack, hand-woven on a rug-weaving loom to keep his/her belongings in during the walking part of the tour. We will talk about the technical infrastructure of the tent and how to use it as a living room during the day and as a bedroom during the night. The dinner will be taken in the company of a real nomad family; living nearly with their couple of hundreds of goats and sheep, we will have the chance to see their authentic lifestyle. Overnight at the Camp. B.L.D.
Day 5 – Migration day. We will wake up at 07:00, have our coffee and snacks made of walnut and molasses, upload animals with our personal sacks, walk through old nomadic migration paths for 2.5 hours, and arrive at our resting point at 10:30. This ancient migration path of Turkmens, a portion of the famous Lycian Way, is among Turkey’s best hiking trails. We will have a long stopover there, have a traditional Turkish breakfast, and lunch, relax, and admire the beauty of mother nature between cedar and juniper trees. At 16:30 pm, we will start walking again for our night camp in the center of a sea of cedars at 1800 meters of altitude, with plenty of thyme and flowers around. We will have a delicious Turkish village dinner. Overnight at camp in the black tent. B.L.D.
Day 6 –Pasture day. We will wake up at 09:00, have breakfast, walk from the forest road, and talk about the harmony of the human being with the nature surrounding him. Lunch in our tent will be waiting for us. After the lunch, we will see a demonstration on how to comb and spin wool. This will be the very beginning of the process of textile weaving. Moreover, we will begin to dye yarn for our small production of textile, to be taken place in the following days. Your leader Deniz will talk about the technique of wool processing and dyeing. We also will have the chance to make our Anatolian Turkmen bread together. We will make and taste nomad bread in our meals and make it again when we need it. Dinner and overnight in the black tent. B.L.D.
Day 7 –Pasture day. We will wake up at 09:00, have breakfast, walk from the forest road to visit a nomad family living nearby, chat with them about their lifestyle, witness their wise and generous perception of life, and talk about the good old days. Lunch in our tent. After lunch, we will process the milk to make a nomadic cheese. We will eat this cheese during the following days. Dinner and overnight in the black tent. B.L.D.
Day 8 – Half-day migration. We will wake up at 07:00, have our coffee and breakfast made of walnut and molasses, upload animals with our personal sacks, and walk along old nomadic migration trails for 2.5 hours. We arrive in a beautiful spot at 10:30. We will visit a nearby village, drink tea in the village teashop, and after lunch there, will be transferred to the night camp at 1700 meters through beautiful and fertile apple gardens. This afternoon will be the time for wool dyeing. We will dye wool together, and talk about chemistry in nature. We will move around and benefit from extremely beautiful nature, collect some herbs, and use them in our tea, cheese, meal, or dye process. Dinner and overnight in the black tent. B.L.D.
Day 9 – Half-Day migration. We will wake up at 07:00, have our coffee and snacks made of walnut and molasses, later start our walk along old nomadic migration paths for 3 hours and arrive at our destination at 11:30. A very beautiful landscape will surround us and we will be able to see the Elmali plain from 1800 meters of altitude. We will see "The Green Lake" at 1800 meters of altitude with emerald color and extremely cold water. Our lunch will be next to the lake and we will be transferred to the famous Subasi Pasture camp at 2070 meters of altitude. Dinner and overnight in our black tent. B.L.D.
The nomadic adventure will begin in minutes, the black tent will be packed and the hand-crafted bags that we use as luggage will be uploaded to horses. We will migrate like real nomads and experience the wisdom of the nomadic lifestyle and the beauty of nature during our journey. Come and join us.
Day 10 – Pasture day. After morning coffee and a late breakfast, we will set up our loom and begin to weave our textiles, the slit tapestry kilim, the sumac, the jijim and the pile carpet techniques will be woven and enjoyed by our guests. Lunch, dinner, and overnight in the black tent. B.L.D.
Day 11 – Pasture day. After morning coffee and a late breakfast, we will get the chance to see Anatolian Turkmen nomads coming from the Fethiye region in their black tents. We will hike a bit to discover a snow well, which Anatolian nomad Turkmens use as a fridge to preserve their cheese produced in the pasture. There, we will make our “frozen drink” from natural snow and molasses in the old way. Return to the camp, and work on the small loom to weave together some different kinds of flat weavings with the yarns we dyed. Lunch, dinner, and overnight in the black tent. B.L.D.
Day 12 – After breakfast, we will say goodbye to the black tent and its crew and will drive to Dalaman for the flight to Istanbul. We will be transferred to our hotel in the city center. Overnight in Istanbul. B. L. DINNER on OWN.
Day 13 – Transfer to ISTANBUL airport for the international flight back to your country.
Tour type: Historical, Cultural & Textile adventure
Activity rating: Moderate, walking on countryside pathways and trails and visiting important museums with easy walks in old parts of towns.
Tour length: 13 days.
Tour Leader: Deniz Coşkun
Born in 1980 in Istanbul, Deniz met the fascinating oriental carpet world in 1992, while he was studying in one of the respected French high schools in Istanbul.
Deniz specialized in hand weaving and natural dyeing, while he was studying Chemical Engineering at university. Then he completed his MBA degree and pursued his dreams of specializing 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 traveled central Anatolia, the Taurus Mountains, and lived among some Turkmen tribes for a while. He closely examined continuing tribal and ethnic social structures of Anatolia since the Ottoman era, and presented comprehensive studies mostly centered upon “weavings and textiles”.
Deniz gives speeches at international textile events and mentors in natural dyeing and international weaving courses. Now he dedicates himself to organizing cultural and textile-oriented walking and hiking adventures in Anatolia. When you join him in one of his cultural adventures, you will not only experience great cultural contacts with Anatolian rural people but also enjoy the amazing countryside landscape with traditional Anatolian cuisine, which has descended from peoples of the Ottoman empire.
Tour cost: (Per-person, sharing a double room)
-$ 3.770,00 per person, for 6 to 8 people
-$ 4.290,00 per person, for 4 to 5 people
– Istanbul Hotel Single Supplement – $ 325,00
– 13-Nights hotel and camping accommodations, 4 nights in selective boutique hotels in Istanbul and 9 nights in the handwoven nomadic black tent, on original nomadic mattresses with duvets that provide the best comfort during the nomadic tour. 2 person small strong tent are also available on request;
– 2 Internal domestic Air tickets between Istanbul and southwest Anatolia;
–4 internal flight transfers with 14 - 16 seat A/C Van;
– All meals (at least 36) included with selective local fresh choices. We have no restrictions – we provide all kinds of food (vegetarians are welcome);
– Bottled water at meals, during transportation and at hotels;
– Tipping to Hotel receptions, bellboys and restaurants.
– Personal needs – laundry – alcoholic drinks, hotel extras, and phone calls, etc;
– Gratuity to the black tent crew: $ 60 per participant, (2 people will be in our 24 hrs service during countryside camping).
Contact for more information:
DENIZ COSKUN – firstname.lastname@example.org