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 — Reply

    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 — Reply

    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 — Reply

    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 — Reply

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

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

  6. Beth
    March 22, 2023 at 4:14 am — Reply

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

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

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

  8. adriana
    March 22, 2023 at 10:19 am — Reply

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

  9. Marie Cris Angeles
    March 22, 2023 at 10:47 am — Reply

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Ricardo Bethea
    March 22, 2023 at 1:20 pm — Reply

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

  13. Zeid
    March 22, 2023 at 3:44 pm — Reply

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

  14. Mike Lavanda
    March 23, 2023 at 4:52 am — Reply

    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.

  15. Zandra
    March 23, 2023 at 9:38 am — Reply

    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

  16. Layana Zhkina
    March 23, 2023 at 9:38 am — Reply

    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

  17. Jordan
    March 23, 2023 at 10:02 am — Reply

    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

  18. Luna Reign
    March 23, 2023 at 10:27 am — Reply

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

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