Souren Melikian, a scholar of Persian art, remarks upon the growing appetite for Turkish works of art that echoes the larger trend seen in China where economic advancement creates demand for relics of an opulent past:
Turks are now scrutinizing their past as never before and, ironically enough, auction house experts are the only ones who truly respond to this phenomenon. [….] But professionals do not doubt that Turkish collectors have played the lead role in the spectacular price rise of art and antiquities with a perceived Turkish connection — even if the £2.3 million box or the £115,250 Koran may end up in a Gulf emirate at prices that suggest uncontrollable hubris.The rise of Turkish art from the past began a quarter of a century ago or so courtesy of the wealthy financial and industrial establishment. With these auctions, the trend reached a new stage. At Christie’s South Kensington, bidders operating on the Internet from Istanbul were competing even for the most modest lots. In a typical sequence, one of them missed a revetment tile of the late 16th century that had once been beautiful but had suffered a crack right across it. At £6,000, the damaged piece was not cheap. He or she had better luck with the next lot and paid £5,625 for two long rectangular tiles, also of the late 16th century.
Turkey Reawakening to Its Vast Iranian Ties (New York Times)