Professor Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, the doyenne of Turkish art history, was born in Tokat in 1934.
The author of over 120 books and publications, amongst them are Iznik: Ottoman Pottery of Turkey with Julian Raby (1989), The Art of Islam, (with Afif Bahnassi), (1990); 1582 Surname-i Hümayun: An Imperial Celebration (1997), Otağı Hümayun: The Ottoman Imperial Tent Complex (2000) and IPEK: Imperial Ottoman Silks and Velvets (2001), and Impressions of Ottoman Culture in Europe: 1453-1699 (2012) and A Garden for the Sultan recently re-issued. She is the recipient of the Turkish State Award for Superior Achievement and countless international awards for her achievements in the field of Islamic art history.
Hidden from the view of visitors trailing through the Topkapı Palace, a modest door in a narrow corridor in the Harem opens into an empty but splendid set of privy chambers. Cornucopia was given rare access to these rooms, which cast light on the way imperial tastes changes during the 18th century and how Dutch tiles became such a prominent feature of the decor. Nurhan Atasoy and fellow art historians from Turkey and Holland tell the story. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg.
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