Iznik is mostly associated with its superb tiles that lend an unparalleled charm to the building on, which it is adorned. It had gained such popularity that during the Ottoman rule this flourishing art form also influenced European arts. So much so that Sir Harry Garner described it as the "most decorative and colorful pottery ever made".
The tiles have a clean white base and its exquisite beauty lies in the three successive layers of semi precious stones, especially quartz and quartzite. They have a hard back and under-glaze decorations and the opaque quality of the glaze gives a relaxing effect. The colors resemble those of the lapis lazuli, the coral, the turquoise and the emerald.
The tiles have floral designs on them and also of figurative and emblematic figures. In fact some of the geometrical patterns have astrological connotations depicting the world and the Universe.
One of the reasons that contribute to its popularity apart from its beauty is that they are extremely durable and adaptable for any ornamental and architectural model. In the past, the method in which these tiles are made, used to be a closely guarded secret amongst its creators, currently however these tiles serve to decorate almost every aspect of architecture.