The Landscape Guide

Turkish gardens

Asian gardens design and history overview - West Asia: Egyptian Gardens Indian Gardens Arab Gardens Persian Gardens Timurid Gardens Mughal Gardens Turkish Gardens

Gardens have been made in Turkey since ancient times. There are disappointingly few surviving Turkish gardens - but the following stages in the evolution of Turkish gardens can be identified:

  1. Ancient settlements like Catal Huyuk and the Hittite capital Hattusas (BoÄŸazköy) had enclosed outdoor space which may have been used as gardens.
  2. Bronze Age settlements, like Troy (Truva) had palace courts like those at Mycenae.
  3. The Greeks and Romans built towns with gardens, like Ehpesus, which had gardens comparable to those in Delos and Pompeii.
  4. Constantinople, the 'New Rome', had gardens similar to those in Rome itself. Marie-Luise Gothein suggests that the Great Palace in Constantinople had a character somewhere between the Emperor's Palace in Rome and Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.
  5. The Turks reached Turkey via Iran and therefore had knowledge of Persian gardens. The Ottoman Turks made palace gardens in Bursa, Edirne and Istanbul. Topkapi Palace is the best surviving example. Religious outdoor space was also important in Islamic Turkey, notably the courtyards of mosques and medressas.
  6. Turkey came under European influence in the nineteenth century and the garden-making tradition became stronger.

See List of Gardens to Visit in Turkey

A reconstruction of the Great Palace of the Emperors in Constantinople (now called Istanbul)

A fragment of Roman mosaic from the Great Palace Garden (now part of the Mosaic Museum in Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia, with minarets added after the Turkish conquest and Sultan Ahmet Garden, made in the twentieth century

Topkapi Palace Garden