Turkish ‘Bursa silk’ gets coveted geographical brand
BURSA – Demirören News Agency
“Bursa silk has been the 11th product of our Bursa [province] that was granted a geographical indication along with Gedelek pickles, Karacabey onion and İnegöl meatball,” said Bursa Mayor Alinur Aktaş on Dec. 10, celebrating the completion of a geographical indication registration process in a ceremony in his office.
“From now on, our municipality will continue its work to sustain silk farming in Bursa, and we recommend every part in this business and our trader friends to protect this valuable product,” he added.
“Bursa silk will turn to an economically valuable product for Bursa with this registration,” said Aktaş, vowing to promote the traditional product to world markets.
Bursa, which was the first capital city of the Ottomans from 1326 to 1363, has been an economic hub in the country through history. That explains the wide range of its unique products such as İznik (Nicaea) tiles, Gemlik olives and black figs.
Rugs and carpets made of silk in Bursa were among the top strategic export goods of the Ottoman empire until two centuries ago. They were used in the residences of the Ottoman sultans and sent to many palaces of foreign nations as gifts and goods.
In 2013, Bursa Municipality kicked off the “Bursa Silk Revival Project” in a bid to return the product to its glory days by reopening the historical Muradiye Silk Factory, which had been founded in 1790.
Weaving workshops were established at 16 places where mulberry trees were grown, including Orhaneli, Harmancık, Keles and Büyükorhan districts. Mulberry leaves then were used for silkworm breeding with the traditional methods. Bursa silk, which had not been produced in Bursa for many years, began to turn into precious carpets in the skilled hands of peasant women who received weaving training.
In 2015, Bursa Municipality applied to the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office for protection of Bursa silk with a geographical indication. The registration process took until March 29, and after a period of eight months without any application of dispute the registration certificate was handed to the municipality.