The symbolic importance of the Tulip to the Ottoman Empire is seen within the use of the motif throughout their textiles, ceramics, tile work and rugs in a myriad of patterns formations and variations in the tulip forms. Within the Sufi language the Tulip and its parts have different meanings.
– The colors symbolise God.
– Tulips have a black/dark interior. The structure (from dark interior to colourful exterior) symbolises ‘the tolerant, respectful Dervish who overcame interior evil to become bright’.
– Tulips have six petals symbolizing the Six Articles of Faith. Often within the patterns, though, they are shown with three or four petals as they are drawn from a side view.
– The petals and their configuration in the patterns mean different things. When facing upwards, for example, they represent the Dervish opening arms to the sky praying.