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Regional variations in the hilts have been noted: Balkan yatagans tend to have larger ears and are often of bone or ivory, whilst Anatolian yatagans characteristically have smaller ears which are more often made of horn or silver.

Sophisticated artwork on both the hilt and the blade can be seen on many yatagans displayed today, indicating considerable symbolic value.

The majority of yatagans date from the period 1750-1860, and from the number of plain, wooden-hilted weapons they were honest fighting weapons as well as ornate parade weapons.

Verses in gold or silver are often laid along the blade.

Silver hilts mounted with filigree and coral, for example, are associated with Turkish Yataghans; many of these are dated around 1800, although it wasn't uncommon for the blades to be dated much earlier.

This specimen now lies in the treasury of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul and is of particular interest since it is not only dated 1526/7, but also has the name of the artist who made it, Ahmed Tekelü, on the back of the blade.

The hilt is of ivory overlaid with gold delicately carved with cloud bands and scrolls.

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