Handicrafts in Safranbolu
Handicrafts in Safranbolu|
Safranbolu Bazaar is forging, iron working, saddle, shoemaking, copper work which
was a guild organization and it is still kept alive up to today and still in progress.
Therefore, the streets of the bazaar in Safranbolu are named according to craft work
such as saddlers-house", "shoemaker house", "butchers house" and "merchant house".
The remaining few craftsmen are provided special attention and they waiting for visitors.
In Turkey shoemaking continues in cities like Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Mardin, Kilis, and
reaches Safranbolu at Yemeniciler (Shoemakers) Arastası until present day. The shoes which
are called "Yemeni" are made at Yemeniciler Arastası. At Ottoman period this bazaar was
old guild. Today in the Yemeniciler Arastası bazaar shoemaker master Ahmet Demirezeni
exposes the effort on how hard the shoes are made and he has opened a Private Shoemaking
Museum and displays the tools used in making shoes. The museum which was opened in year
1989 displays the tools and equipment used for shoemaking.
In Ironworking Bazaar, there are a few iron masters left who were
previously producing iron for the military. Before, all the materials
such as agricultural tools, harness parts, tools for wood and leather
processing, construction tools and materials used in the production
(axe, hatchet, hammer, nails, screw, locks, door rings, iron, iron wind,
hooks, etc.) were beaten in the iron market by the experienced hands.
Now a day, the masters inform us that all the iron is produced in
factories. Timely, the iron masters who used to dance their hands in
fire are a little upset.
Previously, Safranbolu was known for its copper bazaar. Today there is only
polishing and there are shops selling copper pots and pans brought from
elsewhere. It is possible to find souvenirs on the counters. Glowing copper
pans combined with nostalgia gives visitors the thought of beautiful
One of the arts of Safranbolu is saddle making and its about to be forgotten since
it only tries to keep alive on one or two masters shops. We talked with these saddle
makers who have worked for years in this business and they will continue working until
their last breath. Then they start explaining how they make the saddles. Berd or a reed
known as a marsh plant consisting of straws are cut at a certain length and tied with
sacks. Berds are sliced through a tool called semerci comb and the berds are placed in
the body part. If necessary, more berds can be placed later on with the help of semerci iron.
The body looks like a cushion and after its folded in half it is in the shape of V from the
front view. It is sewed with a string very tightly. After it is covered with canvas the
saddle is ready. In Safranbolu, it looks like saddle maker masters will make saddles until
their last breath.
Woodworking began in Seljuks and it continued during the Ottomans but simplicity
was in the forefront. Tables, writing sets, drawers, chests, spoons, thrones, lectern
belongings, as well as windows, cabinet doors, beam, console, column header, ceiling,
altar, pulpit, coffin are part of architectural elements since thin wooden craft has
become a part of life and always managed to get attention. The outer surface of the
mansions in Safranbolu manifests the carving and currently the carvings on the jewelry
boxes which are sold in the markets make people look in glare. The warmth feeling of
timber is still living from yesterday until today in Safranbolu.