Turkish carpet is a term of convenience, commonly used today to denote rugs and carpets woven by various ethnicities in the geographic region of Asia minor and the adjacent regions, which formerly belonged to the Ottoman Empire. It denotes a knotted, pile-woven floor or wall covering which is produced for home use, local sale, and export. Along with flat-woven kilim, “Turkish” carpets form an essential part of the regional culture, today officially understood as Turkish, but in fact derived from the multi-ethnic, multi-religious traditions of the former Ottoman Empire and its predecessors.
Carpet weaving represents a traditional art, dating back to pre-Islamic times. During its long history, the art and craft of the woven carpet has integrated different cultural traditions. Traces of Byzantine design can be detected, Turkic peoples migrating from Central Asia, as well as Armenian people, Caucasian and Kurdic tribes either living in, or migrating to Anatolia, brought with them their traditional designs. The arrival of Islam and the development of the Islamic art also influenced Turkish carpet design. The history of its designs, motifs and ornaments thus reflects the political and ethnic history and diversity of the area of Asia minor. However, scientific attempts were unsuccessful, as yet, to attribute a particular design to a specific ethnic, regional, or even nomadic versus village tradition.