has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the
Oguz Turkic, Anatolian, Ottoman (which was itself a continuation of
both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) and Western culture and traditions,
which started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire and still
continues today. This mix originally began as a result of the encounter
of Turks and their culture with those of the peoples who were in their
path during their migration from Central Asia to the West. As Turkey
successfully transformed from the religion-based former Ottoman Empire
into a modern nation-state with a very strong separation of state and
religion, an increase in the methods of artistic expression followed.
During the first years of the republic, the government invested a large
amount of resources into fine arts; such as museums, theatres, opera
houses and architecture. Because of different historical factors playing
an important role in defining the modern Turkish identity, Turkish culture
is a product of efforts to be "modern" and Western, combined
with the necessity felt to maintain traditional religious and historical
elements found in Turkey are also testaments to the unique mix of traditions
that have influenced the region over the centuries. In addition to the
traditional Byzantine elements present in numerous parts of Turkey,
many artifacts of the later Ottoman architecture, with its exquisite
blend of local and Islamic traditions, are to be found throughout the
country, as well as in many former territories of the Ottoman Empire.
Sinan is widely regarded as the greatest architect of the classical
period in Ottoman architecture. Since the 18th century, Turkish architecture
has been increasingly influenced by Western styles, and this can be
particularly seen in Istanbul where buildings like the Blue Mosque and
the Dolmabahçe Palace are juxtaposed next to numerous modern
skyscrapers, all of them representing different traditions.
music and literature form great examples of such a mix of cultural influences,
which were a result of the interaction between the Ottoman Empire and
the Islamic world along with Europe, thus contributing to a blend of
Turkic, Islamic and European traditions in modern-day Turkish music
and literary arts.
literature was heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic literature during
most of the Ottoman era, though towards the end of the Ottoman Empire.
The mix of cultural influences is dramatized, for example, in the form
of the "new symbols [of] the clash and interlacing of cultures"
enacted in the works of Orhan Pamuk, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize