Abdul Hay's tomato red tiles
Istanbul, the city of a hundred mosques, has a long and fascinating history. For more than a thousand years, the city was known as Constantinople - capital of the Byzantine Empire. Its capture, predicted by the prophet Muhammad, was realized in 1453 when the city fell to the Ottoman sultan, Mehmet II, who made it the capital of an Islamic state that would endure for six centuries. Mehmet II quickly set about beautifying Constantinople - the city he wanted to become 'the capital of the world'. He assembled the best craftsmen of his day to complete massive construction projects. One of the most sought after artisans in the land was the tile-maker, Abdul Hay, whose unique, vibrant tomato red tiles would soon beautify many buildings in Mehmet's new capital.