“Everyone learned this craft from the Armenians”-the last generation continuing the Armenian traditions of ironworking in Turkey

The Turkish guneydoguguncel.com has provided coverage of the last bearers of the traditions of ironworking (one of the old crafts in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir) and their proclaimed teachers who, as it turns out, are all Armenian.

“Although the number of Armenians living in Diyarbakir and considered the fathers of craftsmanship in this territory is declining day after day, their pupils, who continue the Armenian traditions of craftsmanship, are the last iron workers here,” reported tert.am, writes the author, stressing the fact that the Kurdish pupils of the Armenian craftsmen also have no hope that ironworking will be around for a long time.

They say that the incessantly active urbanization in Turkey and “the automation” of life are the main reasons.

The following is a story of how notable ironworker Tarik Sevim, who is based in the area of Diyarbakir known as “Market of Ironworkers”, learned the craft of ironworking.

“I learned this craft from my elder brother, who learned from Khecho. The latter is an Armenian and the uncle of famous art figure Bedri Ayseli. Master Khecho emigrated to Europe and passed away there. All the ironworkers in the market learned this craft from the Armenians,” said Sevim, who is certain that nobody will continue this path after him since today’s young people are not interested in this craft.

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