The town of Gaziantep lies in south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border and the Euphrates. Previously called Aintab and then Antep by the Ottomans, Gaziantep only acquired its present name after it fell to the French in April 1920, having been defended by the nationalists for months. This stupendous resistance was later recognized by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, who granted the city the prefix of Gazi, meaning as much as ‘defender of the faith’.
Kilim weaving was flourishing from the beginning until the middle of the 19th century. Their importance lies in the fact that they are the prototypes for the well-known and numerous south-east Anatolian kilims of the Aleppo region. They are characterized by horizontal bands of differing colours with diamond shaped emblems joined together to form the main pattern, filled with stars. Borders are narrow with repeated motifs. Two halves are woven separately and afterwards put together. This is why the joint parts often do not perfectly match. The kilims are made from finely spun wool using the slit weave technique.
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