Mehmet's daughter Zehra
Mehmet's son Said
The Mehmet Cetinkaya Gallery has long been an important source of rare textiles, carpets, and rugs for collectors and museums worldwide. The expertise of Cetinkaya and his family encompasses regions of western China and the Central Asian Republics, as well as the Caucasus, Iran and Anatolia, traditionally known as the Silk Road.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Art in Liege, Belgium, Mehmet Cetinkaya continually applies his knowledge and sense of aesthetics to pioneering efforts in both building significant textile collections and exhibiting cultural treasures from this vast territory.
He was chosen as Chairman of the 11th International Conference of Oriental Carpets (ICOC) held in Istanbul in 2007. In addition to the vast organizational duties associated with the conference, he was the chief consultant for the accompanying selection of textiles exhibited by major Turkish museums and private collectors. At the same time Cetinkaya mounted an important exhibition of his personal collection of Central Asian ikat chapans in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, and published the expansive catalog “99 Ikat Chapans” which illustrates and illuminates the extraordinary ikat tradition.
Mehmet Cetinkaya opened Maison du Tapis D’Orient in the historic Arasta Bazaar of Sultanahmet in 1986, followed by The Mehmet Cetinkaya Gallery in 2002. In 2012, the adjacent Columns Gallery was opened, built on the site of an ancient temple, exposing massive Roman and Byzantine columns. These artifacts have been preserved in the manner of an open-air museum, providing the public with access from a lower level as well as through glass flooring at the entrance.
For the last 10 years Cetinkaya’s great passion for textiles has inspired him to support contemporary craftsmen in a revival of some of the world’s richest weaving and embroidery traditions. In the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan, his hand weavers produce ikat and ikat velvet with the purest silks and natural dyes, comparable to historic examples of the 19th century. In Armenia, he has revived a 17th century Caucasian embroidery tradition, and employs over 400 women throughout the country. Appreciated by museum professionals and collectors worldwide, the Gallery continues to create traditionally inspired pieces that perpetuate the excellence of past centuries.