MARMARA MARBLE LEADS TURKEY’S NATURAL STONES WITH A BRAND VALUE. FOR MILLENNIA, SCULPTURES WERE BUILT, PALACES WERE DECORATED AND BATHS WERE CONSTRUCTED USING THIS MARBLE. THE MARBLE QUARRIES, OPENED IN THE ANTIQUE AGE ON MARMARA ISLAND, HAVE SURVIVED AS AN OUTDOOR MUSEUM UNTIL THE PRESENT.
WE TALKED ABOUT MARMARA MARBLE WITH MUSTAFA DINÇER, A SHAREHOLDER OF DINÇER MERMER, ONE OF THE FIRMS PROCESSING THIS MARBLE.
Let’s get to know Marmara Marble, what is the origin of the word?
The origin of the word Marmara is from Greek and means “marble”. Marmara marble has given its name to the island, the sea and the region. The reason for this is the work going on in marble quarries in the Roman and Byzantine Empire periods and also the Ottoman period. Until the latest people exchange, the Greek population in Marmara Island have continued to work on it.
How long a history does marble quarry work have? Through history, in what civilizations do we detect Marmara marble?
2700-year-old sculpted marble statue was found. We see Marmara marble in Ephesus and Troy civilizations, in San Marco basilica in Venice, Mesjid al-Aqsa in Palestine, the art museum in Germany, Byzantine and Ottoman medresahs in various parts in Turkey, in temples, palaces and many similar historical structures. It has been an indication of luxury, magnificence, power and wealth through history.
To cite examples, which buildings?
The best specimens are Topkapı Palace, Çırağan Palace and Dolmabahçe Palace.
When did modern processing of marble start?
The first marble factory in Turkey was established in Marmara Island. The construction was started in the Ottoman period in 1912, becoming operational in 1930. Eight machines were set up to operate on steam, using Belgian and British technologies. The operations ceased in 1970s; presently it is idle.
Şişli American Hospital Art Gallery
What is the state of Marmara marble today?
Unfortunately, we couldn’t carry the usage intensity of Marmara marble of the past to the present. Marmara marble applications are quite limited in contemporary buildings and project. Our perception of use of Marmara marble today consists almost of baths, mosques and gravestones. Actually, since this type of marble has an extremely natural, healthy and robust structure, it has been opted for in mosques, baths and gravestones, and it still is. Also, temples and cemeteries are the most sacred spaces of societies and this has added a spiritual value to our stone.
Trump Towers / Las Vegas
Is it used in contemporary buildings abroad?
You can find Marmara marble in many projects abroad. It has been chosen in the US and Europe in luxury hotel lobbies, bathroom walls and restaurant floors.
Can you cite some examples?
For example, you can see Marmara marble at Diagonal Residence in Madrid, Trump Towers in New York and Las Vegas, Washington D.C. Water Hotel and in many more projects.
Where can we find the contemporary use of this material in Turkey?
For example it was used in Doğan Holding Headquarters building in Altunizade, Istanbul. And Şişli American Hospital was a project we supplied to about 7-8 years ago and it became the beginning of Marmara marble’s being chosen for a contemporary building after a long time. This project has crushed the bath, mosque and gravestone perception of Marmara marble. A new model we named “Ekvator”, which is a different cut, was applied very successfully in the project. I would like to thank everyone lead by architects and engineers involved in the project for giving us this chance.
What else would you like to say?
We are proud to see our marble in universities, hotels, hospitals and other projects now, with the support of our architects.
Şişli American Hospital