Turkey is fast becoming one of the worlds emerging leaders in the export of jewellery and precious metals, rivalling Italy. The top producers of jewellery are in the Anatolia area, Ankara, and Izmir, but the centre for jewellery production is found in Istanbul. Turkish gold and silver jewellery are ornamented with precious and semi-precious stones. These are usually designed with Anatolian or Turkish influences, which make Turkish jewellery distinctive. Expect architectural and textile designs on bracelets, rings, and necklaces. But there are newer designs to cater to modern taste.
Cem Lokmanhekim makes most desirable jewellery. His inspiration is Ottoman and traditional Anatolian, but rendition -- perfectly contemporary.
Aida Pekin designs modern organically shaped pieces. Her collections reflect urban life and are quirky and fun.
Batya Kebudi is a new name in jewellery design. She made her mark with modern minimalist pieces built around symbols – love, nazar boncuk, Fatima’s hand, etc.
Traditional Turkish jewellery making techniques include filigree (telkari), niello (savat) and wickerwork (hasir). Filigree is a technique in which the artist creates motifs by soldering together fine silver/gold wires. Since the wire used is often extremely delicate, this technique requires an almost infinite degree of patience. In the past, filigree was used for women’s belts, bracelets, earrings and brooches. Filigreed women’s accessories are now produced in only a few places in Istanbul and Anatolia.
The niello technique is based on tiny, delicately worked pieces of hand painted enamel which are partitioned by precious metals. In wickerwork, another technique used by Turkish jewellers, delicate wires are woven together. Wickerwork is used mostly for silver jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
In 2009, the major destination countries for jewellery exports were the United Arab Emirates, the USA, the Russian Federation, Iraq and Germany.