International project to re-create the famous Seljuk wall tiles

International project to re-create the famous Seljuk wall tiles

Higher educational institutions of Turkey – Alaaddin Keykubat University and the University of the Middle East – are launching an International “Seljukian Octagon” Tile Wall Project 2021. The organizers invite artists from all over the world to join the cultural event.

The main task of the project is to create one copy of the ceramic tile-clad that have been used in the Seljuk architecture in 13th century. The artworks, made of white clay, should be glazed at 10800 C and contain traditional painting, including images of people, camels, horses, sun, griffins, etc.

The best of the submitted artworks will be exhibited in a 202.54×202.54 cm portable octahedral block in accordance with external conditions. Throughout the year, the tiles, which have become part of the International Project, will be showcased in all cities of Turkey. Also, the organizers’ plan is to create a catalog including a photograph of the product with the autobiographies of the project participants.

The entry for participation in the project is open January 4 to March 3. The completed contract form to be sent by email to:

Attention: The original artwork ceramic tile should be sent via postal service to the following address: Serdar Aslan, Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat Üniversitesi, ALTSO MYO Kestel Mahallesi, Üniversite Caddesi, No:82, PK:07425, Alanya / ANTALYA.

The Great Seljuk Empire was founded as a result of the conquest of the countries of the Near and Middle East by Seljuk dynasty of Oghuz Turks. The empire controlled a vast area stretching from Palestine to China, from Iran and Afghanistan to the Aral Sea, and also conquered the modern territory of Turkmenistan. During the reign of Sultan Sanjar, the ancient city of Merv, 30 km east of Mary, became the capital of the Seljuk Empire.

In those far-off days, Merv had amazed with its architecture including palaces, mosques and castles. Handicrafts like weaving, ceramics, metalworking and jewelry art, were widely developed here. In 1999, the historical and cultural reserve “Ancient Merv” was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. To date, the museums of Turkmenistan keep artifacts found during the excavations of the ancient settlement. Among them, there are also fragments of the above mentioned Seljukian ceramic tiles.

Nowadays, many cities in Turkey have architectural features adorned with magnificent Seljuk tiles. Images of mythological creatures, traditional oriental motifs, forms of planets, horoscopes and geometric arabesques can be seen on tiles. It is undeniable truth that at certain point the Seljuks breathed new life into ceramics and tile art.