History of Ottoman Calligraphy
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A Brief History of Ottoman Calligraphy
When, in the tenth century, the Turks migrated to the West from their original home in the steppes of northwest China, they came into contact in Turkestan, Afghanistan and Iran with the religion and culture of the Islamic world. The mass conversion to Islamic, which resulted from this migration, was accompanied by the abandonment of the old Uyghur alphabet they had formerly employed and the adoption of the Arabic script they were to use for nearly a thousand years until the introduction of the new Turkish alphabet in 1928.
But the inherently artistic nature of the Turks inspired them with deep love for the Arabic script, which they themselves greatly improved by the introduction of a number of changes in form.
It was the Ottoman Turks who produced and perfected several varieties of this type of script. All the various branches of the art of calligraphy, an art greatly loved and respected by the Ottoman Turks, flourished particularly in the city of Istanbul, the administrative center of the Ottoman State, and it was in Istanbul that the finest and most mature works were produced. (more…)