Furthermore, the tulip held symbolic value for the Ottomans since its name in Turkish, Persian, and Urdu, لاله or "laleh" is spelled in the Arabic alphabet with the same letters as الله or "Allah" meaning "God" and هلال or "hilal" meaning "crescent". The tulip was thus understood as a symbol of God and of Islam.
There is a beautiful book on Ottoman floral culture entitled A Garden for the Sultan: Flowers and Gardens in the Ottoman Culture by Nurhan Atasoy which explains this and many other fascinating peculiarities of the role of flowers in Ottoman art and culture. Alas, the book is out of print and quite expensive, so for now I will have to make do with the copy in my university's Fine Arts Library.
I could go on writing about Iznik tiles, floral ornamentation in Islamic art, and the Harem of the
Topkapı Palace all night, but Urdu homework needs to be done so I can one day read more poems about tulips and cypresses. Stay tuned however, for more pictures of beautiful Ottoman architecture as well as a post on the gardens of the sumptuous Dolmabahçe Palace which the Ottoman royal family inhabited after leaving the Topkapı Palace and in which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic, passed away on November 10, 1938 - the pictures for that post are as of now on another computer, but I will get to them soon!