Inside I took many pictures of the tiles, that are used with wisdom, not covering whole walls, but only on selected areas: pendentives of the dome, the mihrab section, under the galleries.
The tiles of the Sokollu Mehmet Paşa Mosque are from around 1570. This panel is an example of the pure white ground on which the prevailing red, blue and green design (stylised leaves, flowers and blossoms) is depicted.
Often used motifs are tulips, roses, carnations, hyacinths, violets, pomegranates, feather-shaped reed grass, leaves, grape bunches and vines, and arched flower branches. In Ottoman culture (and more generally in Islamic art) flowers symbolize the Garden of Eden and Paradise.
These designs were drawn by the artists of the Topkapı Sarayı workshop and sent to the potters at Iznik for transfer to the tile panels and plates, which were not only used in the mosques and palaces of the Ottoman Empire, but were exported all over Europe.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: ‘Islamic Architecture: Ottoman Turkey’ (Godfrey Goodwin) – London 1977