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Sanayicileri Sitesi, Menekşe Caddesi No. 3, Beylikdüzü, Büyükçekmece, Istanbul

Owned by the Doyran family from Nevşehir in Cappadocia, this factory and shop in one is a treasure trove of all things copper and brass. House and garden wares, decorative items, tools – you name it, the Doyrans make it. Besides that, the firm also sources iron, clay and wood items from all across Anatolia, including a large selection of clay pots.

In Cornucopia 50, Griselda Warr previews Hakart in ‘Urns to yearn for’.

Cornucopia 50

Urns to yearn for

By Griselda Warr

A warehouse heaves with pottery jars and pitchers of all sizes, with battered cauldrons, wooden cartwheels, marble basins, copper serving dishes stacked to the ceiling. I had no idea such places existed. We are in the nondescript building in Beylikdüzü, beyond Istanbul’s Atatürk airport, where three members of the Doyran family, from Nevşehir in Cappadocia, run their business, Hakart.

In a basement workshop they reproduce examples of classic Turkish house and garden wares, from trays and tea services to spinning wheels and pitchforks, using traditional tools. But climb the stairs and you enter a different world. Cavernous spaces over four floors are filled with a wild assortment of old treasures that the Doyrans continue to find in Anatolia, and in the lands beyond the Black Sea.

Pottery urns, jars and amphorae fill one immense back room. Giant wooden casks are ranged on upper shelves. Part of the fun lies in discovering curiosities in dark corners. Would the keys in fat bunches fit any of the dusty locks piled next to them? An ingenious glove-like wooden implement designed to winnow grain would make a brilliant dance prop. A brass “hand” has holes in its numerous “fingertips”, for pouring the batter for the parchment-thin pastry tel kadayıf. One brass cauldron large enough for a child to bathe in would be impressive enough. But a tumbling stack of 20 or more, with intricately shaped handles, could be a stage set for experimental theatre.

There is something forlorn about shelf upon shelf of covered brass and bronze dishes once used for serving rice and other foods: it seems a shame that so many have been discarded. Here, too, are sini, the flat, round trays that double as impromptu tables. Then there are the legions of jugs – one ornamental pair stands shoulder-height. Five-foot-tall anthropomorphic copper stills for rose oil, sleek and beautifully made, look down their long “noses” upon lesser artefacts on lower shelves.

Yes, I know all this used to be available in Copper Street outside the Grand Bazaar, but those days are gone. And if it were not for the Doyrans, so would this great wealth of the antique, weird and wonderful.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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