- What’s On
Deep in the industrial outskirts of Istanbul, Griselda Warr enters an Aladdin’s cave of Anatolian treasures. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
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.
Hakart, Menekşe Cad 3, Bakırcılar ve Pirinççiler Sanayi Sitesi (the Copper- and Brass-makers’ Industrial Park), Beylikdüzü, Istanbul; hakart.com.tr; +90 212 876 2686. Take the Metrobüs to Güzelyurt. Hakart have a small shop by the Grand Bazaar: Bakırcılar Cad 26, Beyazıt. Prices for ewers: TL75–150. Clay jars: from TL10, for tiny vessels, to TL5,000 for large. Marble basins: TL75–200
Also worth seeing in this truly bleak area is Büyükçekmece Bridge, the only building to bear Sinan’s signature. Beyond lie the vineyards of Thrace and fine Edirne mosques
On the return journey call in at Atatürk’s summerhouse in Florya, an immaculate Thirties time warp on stilts in the Sea of Marmara. A good lunch spot is Beyti, also in Florya (see Restaurants, Cornucopia 50, page 201)
Give yourself over to the grit and bustle of Eminönü’s waterside markets, then ascend to Sinan’s sublime hilltop mosques – the awesome Süleymaniye and the haunting Şehzade. In their shadow is the exuberantly tiles Rüstem Pasha Mosque. Cornucopia devotes 24 pages to this vibrant area, with features on Eminönü and the Suleymaniye district with photographs by Jürgen Frank, and a guide to the mosques beautifully depicted by Fritz von der Schulenburg
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In a decade of monitoring Turkey’s burgeoning wine industry, Kevin Gould has never been more impressed. He and the Cornucopia tasting team enthusiastically sampled this year’s top bottles and nominated their favourites
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