CARPET MANUFACTURE DURING THE REPUBLICAN ERA OF TURKEY: 1980-2000
Keywords: Turkey, Republic Period, Handwoven Carpet Manufacture, Machine Made Carpet Manufacture, Carpet Export
In the first decades of the republic, majority of the population were living in the countryside and the economy was mostly based on hand crafts, manual works and on agriculture-animal husbandry. Economical development programmes, initiated by the governments of the era were mostly based on the modernisation of agriculture and the establishment of a national industry. In doing so, the government didn’t neglect traditional hand crafts such as carpet manufacture which were a great source of exporting income during the pre-republican times. Beginning from the first years of the republic, the governments were busy establishing many commissions, departments and hiring specialists in order to regulate the carpet weaving sector. The governmats were also tryşng to develop this important manufacuring culture in order to create employment and economical development in the rural areas of the country. So, beginning from 1923 till 1980, the Turkish carpet weaving production continued on it’s historical journey, being affected by many economical changes, crises, developments in world’s economy and globalisation.
From 1980 to 2000, there were again many developments that seriously affected carpet weaving manufacture. The most important among those was the establishment of industrial machine made carpet production. A lot of investment were being made inthis area at the time. This new industry did indeed had it’s negative effect on the traditional carpet weaving. Another development was the the transferring of traditional carpet manufacture from the neighbouring war torn countries into Turkey. But probably the most drastic among all those is the the integration process of Turkey into the European Union in 1995. During this process, becouse of the undersigned agreements, Turkey was unable to blockade the import of hand woven carpets from other countries.
This paper mainly concentrates on the important developments witnessed in the Turkish hand woven carpet manufacturing industry between the years of 1980 and 2000. A lot of reserach has ofcourse been carried out on Turkish carpets both national and international levels, but the most reliable information on carpet weaving till 2000, can be found in the five year plans that were prepared by the government departments and commission reports. This paper is mainly based the information in the five year plans and commission reports prepared by the government sources on the hand woven and machine made carpet production. Hovever, it also takes into account some important socio-cultural changes, local and national economic developments which had their effects on Turkish carpet production during this 20 year period.