Lifestyle & CultureMosaic Art

Honoring Turkey’s Mosaic Art

(4 min read) Several earthquakes shook southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6th. The humanitarian and social aftershocks have been catastrophic and devastating. It is estimated that at least 50,000 people died, and millions lost their homes. It’s been over a month and it seems the world has gone silent. Turkey and Syria will take a lot of time to recover, so we’ll keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Today we are honoring Turkish mosaic art. We will honor Syrian art in a separate article, as both countries have such rich cultural lives, they deserve their own posts. 

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Gipsy Girl mosaic masterpiece, Turkey’s most famous classical mosaic kept in Zeugma Mosaic Museum. Image source: Link 

Turkey has one of the richest histories of all European countries. Its lands were the home of many civilizations. Among some of the most prominent ones, were the Roman and Byzantine Empires, known for their stunning mosaic skills. Keeping that in mind it is no wonder that some of the most important mosaic masterpieces are situated in Turkey. 

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A gorgeous mosaic of Ktisis holding an ancient Roman measuring tool, she is known as the personification of the foundation of the city itself; this mosaic is kept in the Haleplibahce Museum in Sanliurfa, Turkey. Image source: Link  

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Amazing mosaics of Dionysus and Ariadne were restored just two years ago in Metropolis, Izmir, Turkey. Image source: Link  

At this point, we can’t be sure how many of them survived the earthquakes, and human lives are more important, so no one is looking into that at the moment. However, once the dust settles and things start returning to normal it will be important to check how many of these amazing art pieces were left unscathed.

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Famous 2,400 years old mosaic artwork of the cheerful skeleton, with the writing:” Enjoy life.”, is kept in the Hatay Archeology Museum, Turkey. Image source: Link  

All of those gorgeous mosaic artworks that grace the floors and walls of ancient buildings, those charming patterns that adorn pots and plates, and even those tiny mosaic medallions with their questionable purpose and beauty, all tell a story of our past. Mythological scenes, subjects from daily life, and important characters depicted in these glorious mosaics stand as a testament to our past times and future progress. As such, they truly are of immense value.

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5th-century floor mosaic of a child and a donkey from The Great Palace Mosaic Museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Image source: Link  

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Lovely mosaic of shepherds with animals, symbolizing a peaceful rural life; The Great Palace Mosaic Museum, Istanbul, Turkey. Image source: Link  

One of the sites severely damaged in the earthquake is the famous Gaziantep Castle, one of the most prominent historical areas in Turkey. This magnificent and seemingly unremarkable castle has a unique history, with its mound being settled since prehistoric times. The small city of Gaziantep is also home to the amazing Zeugma Mosaic museum. This glorious building houses some of the finest Roman Empire mosaics.

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Gayintep Castle before the earthquake. Image source: Link  

This Roman-era castle is just one among the thousands of structures that were damaged or destroyed by the deadly earthquakes that struck Turkey. Nearby 17th-century Sirvani Grand Mosque also collapsed, as well as Adiyaman Ulu Grand Mosque and Karagoz Grand Mosque. Damage done to other historical and cultural heritages will be estimated in months to come.  

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Glorious Zeugma Mosaic Museum.

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Antiope mosaic kept in Zeugma Museum. Image source: Link  

In the end, art matters. It is what’s left behind those who came before us and it is what will remain after we leave. To quote Marcel Duchamp: “What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist. It’s not what you see that is art; art is the gap.” 

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Honoring Turkey’s Mosaic Art.

Mosaic_Artwork_Turkey - Turkey_Ancient_Mosaics - Ancient_Mosaic_Artwork
Honoring Turkey’s Mosaic Art.

Mosaic_Artwork_Turkey - Turkey_Ancient_Mosaics - Ancient_Mosaic_Artwork
Honoring Turkey’s Mosaic Art.

Mosaic_Artwork_Turkey - Turkey_Ancient_Mosaics - Ancient_Mosaic_Artwork
Honoring Turkey’s Mosaic Art.




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M. Belosh

M. Belosh

Passionate art enthusiast; avid reader (you can find me on Goodreads under the same name); movie connoisseur; intolerable before my morning coffee.


  1. Eileen M Loya
    March 19, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    It is sad that many of the structures that have been standing for centuries were destroyed by the earthquake. I hope that the people in Turkiye will quickly recover from the disaster. I am also in awe at the mosaic art. It must be so labor intensive to create one as beautiful as those.

  2. Melissa Cushing
    March 20, 2023 at 11:39 am

    These are such beautiful works of art and love each one! I always love your site and the amazing creations you display all of the time. it is so beautiful and would love to learn this art form 😉

  3. Samantha Donnelly
    March 20, 2023 at 11:49 am

    These are all lovely, I love how you can see a storry in them and know there is more to being just. a mosaic picture

  4. Rhian Westbury
    March 20, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    I love going to see old mosaics when I go away. We used to go and visit the ones in Cyprus loads when I was younger x

  5. Ambuj Saxena
    March 21, 2023 at 1:22 am

    I have always known Turkey as the religious capital of the Islamic world with stories stemming from Sultan rule in India. However, no one had shed light on art and that too, mosaic art in Turkey. Thank you for an informative blog post.

  6. Fin BB
    March 21, 2023 at 6:20 am

    The earthquake was so devastating, so much loss. Turkey is a country with such a rich and cultural heritage.

  7. Melissa
    March 21, 2023 at 10:19 am

    I am so amazed by the art that has survived natural disasters. I find this so interesting, and all of this is so beautiful!

  8. Rivera
    March 21, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Turkey has some great mosaic art. I didn’t know this before reading! Great finds here.

  9. Dr. David
    March 21, 2023 at 11:10 am

    I might be biased but I love mosaics from Turkey, they definitely have a special vibe about them. Surely a museum piece for me. Thanks for inspiring me to visit more museums (and mosaic museums too)

  10. Tammy
    March 21, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    These are absolutely stunning works of art. My heart goes out to all those affected..thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. I can’t wait to see the Syrian art next.

  11. Melanie E
    March 21, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    The earthquakes devastated so many lives. It’s so awful that so many lost their lives, loved ones, and homes.

  12. Beth
    March 22, 2023 at 4:14 am

    It’s so nice of you to dedicate an entire blog post to honoring Turkish mosaic art.

  13. Tiana Neir
    March 22, 2023 at 7:52 am

    I love Turkey 🇹🇷. Many of my English students are Turkish and I love the architecture and the mosaics. Very beautiful!

  14. adriana
    March 22, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Mosaic artwork is incredible – these pieces are beautiful! The intricacy is amazing!

  15. Marie Cris Angeles
    March 22, 2023 at 10:47 am

    Wow! Just wow! I really love art. Interesting, I will save this and check this out later. Especially the “Honoring Turkey’s Mosaic Art”.

  16. Samantha Donnelly
    March 22, 2023 at 10:49 am

    These are all lovely pieces, the earthquakes were so shocking and upsetting to watch

  17. Sarah Stockley
    March 22, 2023 at 11:53 am

    The Turkish mosaics are so beautiful. It is really devasting what the country has been through after that terrible earthquake. So much loss.

  18. Ricardo Bethea
    March 22, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    I love how wonderful their mosaic art is and the level of detail it has me amazed.

  19. Zeid
    March 22, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    I love Turkey. Thanks for sharing. I will share this article with my Turkish students and we will talk about it

  20. Mike Lavanda
    March 23, 2023 at 4:52 am

    The devastating earthquakes that recently occurred in Turkey and Syria, is indeed heartbreaking to hear about the loss of lives and homes, and it is important to keep those affected in our thoughts and prayers. Turkish mosaic art is truly a testament to the rich history and culture of the region, and it is saddening to think about the potential damage that may have been inflicted upon these masterpieces during the earthquakes. However, as you have mentioned, art is what remains after we leave, and it is important to preserve and protect these treasures for future generations to appreciate and admire. Thank you again for sharing this article and honoring the beauty and significance of Turkish mosaic art.

  21. Zandra
    March 23, 2023 at 9:38 am

    I don’t know what happened to my previous comment but I wrote about how I love turkey and most of my students are from turkey

  22. Layana Zhkina
    March 23, 2023 at 9:38 am

    I absolutely adore classic mosaics. It’s very curious just how the mosaics from Turley differs from one of Greece despite it being the same country

  23. Jordan
    March 23, 2023 at 10:02 am

    Wow, totally loving each and everyone of these Turkish mosaic art which is super inspirational. I love love the look and feel of them, so much history and culture behind it

  24. Luna Reign
    March 23, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Great information and lovely feature on mosaics. I love seeing old art!

  25. Mr. Castillo
    March 23, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    Turkey is one of the most beautiful countries with such a rich archeological history! Great article.

  26. Zandra
    March 23, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    I love mosaics

  27. Nat
    March 23, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    Such a beautiful tribute! Turkey is on my travel bucket list. So sad the famous Gayintep Castle got damaged by the deadly earthquake 🙁 . You have shared some amazing mosaic arts in this article, love them ❤️.

  28. Cebile
    March 23, 2023 at 10:10 pm

    Learned something new today from your research and knowledge base. Some of the mosaics are absolutely unique in the design and masterful technique.

  29. Paula Richie
    March 23, 2023 at 10:40 pm

    It’s heartbreaking to hear about the aftermath of the earthquakes in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

  30. Ramil Hinolan
    March 24, 2023 at 5:39 am

    Turkey has a rich culture and history. I think these wonderful artworks somehow immortalize what Turkey is all about.

  31. Zab Zaria
    March 24, 2023 at 10:44 am

    It was helpful to have the information you provided. Your sharing of it is greatly appreciated.

  32. Melissa Cuhsing
    March 24, 2023 at 11:12 am

    These Turkish masterpieces are stunning works of art and love that you are honoring them!

  33. Tammy
    March 24, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Beautiful pieces of art. A wonderful tribute post to the art and culture of Turkey. I look forward to your next article on Syria.

  34. Kira
    March 25, 2023 at 6:16 am

    Love the story behind these mosaics , tragic but how absolutely beautifully these are

  35. Marianne Hertz
    March 26, 2023 at 8:42 am

    I stumbled upon your blog post about Turkey’s mosaic art and was fascinated by the intricate designs and vibrant colors of the pieces showcased. I was wondering if you could share more about the history and cultural significance of these mosaics. Thank you for sharing this beautiful art form with us.

  36. Loraine
    April 24, 2023 at 5:29 am

    How absolutely devastating! Things like this can’t ever be replaced and that is so devastating for the people of the country but also for the art world.

  37. Lavanda
    April 24, 2023 at 6:55 am

    Thank you for sharing this interesting article about mosaic art and its representation of turkeys. It’s fascinating to learn how art can honor and celebrate the natural world around us.

  38. Moon Donna
    April 24, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I appreciated learning about the cultural significance of the turkey and how it has been celebrated in mosaic art throughout history. Your passion for art and history shone through your writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Keep up the great work!

  39. Jenny
    April 26, 2023 at 9:05 am

    I would love to visit Turkey some day and see these amazing mosaics in real life, they seem so realistic considering their age.