Museum displays Ottoman bridal trousseaus
AYDIN - Anatolia News Agency
Exhibition of bridal trousseau items. AA photoBridal trousseau items dating back to the Ottoman era are being displayed in an ethnography museum established in a shopping mall in Söke, a touristic district in the Aegean province of Aydın’s Muğla.
Çağdaş Can Öztürk, who founded the Otantika Ethnography Museum with his brother Deniz, said that his family had been collecting bridal trousseaus from the 17th through 20th centuries from Aegean villages over the past 30 years in order to introduce Ottoman trousseau culture to new generations.
“My father, Cem Cemil Öztürk, and mother, Nilüfer Öztürk, who are architects, bought products like wedding chests and accessories from villages in Aydın, Kütahya, Balıkesir, Manisa, Muğla, Afyon and Uşakfor for 30 years. Many villagers who heard about this interest of my parents came to Aydın and sold their items to them. This way they created a perfect collection including 4,000 original pieces by the end of 30 years,” he said.
1,800 traditional items on display
Öztürk said the items are the best heritage left for them by their parents. “My brother and I have dreamed of displaying these items in a museum. We applied to the Culture and Tourism Ministry and founded an ethnography museum named ‘Otantika.’ We display 1,800 out of 4,000 Ottoman bridal trousseaus including traditional costumes like bindallı, boleros, shalwars, headscarves, laces, kerchiefs, waistbands, napkin towels, prayer and mawlid clothes, bathroom sets, daggers, watches, point laces and jewelry in the museum. We are now planning to open a new museum to display the rest of the items.”
Öztürk said they were also organizing special trips to the museum for students and teachers as well as foreign tourists coming to the Aegean towns of Kuşadası and Didim in the summer months for a holiday.
Deniz Can Öztürk said they contacted women living in Aydın and neighboring villages to preserve the art of such Ottoman trousseau items and provide additional income for villagers. Nearly 100 women are reproducing the items on display, which are now for sale as souvenirs in the museum’s gift shop.
The brothers also plan to organize fashion shows to promote Ottoman trousseaus.