Prayer beads meet collectors at coffee shop

Prayer beads meet collectors at coffee shop

İZMİR - Anatolia News Agency
Prayer beads meet collectors at coffee shop

The selling of the beads is another process. Collectors from as far away as Erzurum, Diyarbakır, Istanbul and Kayseri visit at Seyitoğlulları coffee shop in İzmir to buy or sell beads. Their only aim is to meet each other and discover prayer beads. AA photo

A coffee shop in İzmir’s Konak district serves as a bead collecting place and gathers lots of bead collectors and buyers from all over Turkey

The coffee shop, Seyitoğulları, has hosted guests with a love of collecting beads for 20 years. Instead of playing cards or okey games, the guests of Seyitoğulları look at beads lying on tables. 

The selling of the beads is another process. Collectors from as far away as Erzurum, Diyarbakır, Istanbul and Kayseri visit here to buy or sell beads. Their only aim is to meet each other.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Seyitoğulları’s manager Engin Tanrıkulu said that when people say “coffee shop,” as we know in Turkey, they think of playing cards and so on. However, this place is different.

“Producers come to our coffee shop from all over Turkey. They meet with collectors and others who love beads … It is possible to find every kind of bead in our shop,” he said. Tanrıkulu inherited the coffee shop from his father and decided to continue the tradition.

Noting that there were other coffee shops in different parts of Turkey, Tanrıkulu said his was the “one and only coffee shop that is doing it like this. There are certain customers who have been coming to the shop for 15 years.”

The prices of beads vary from five liras to as much as 100,000 liras, he added.

Abdullah Gündüz, who comes to the shop all the way from Erzurum, said people used prayer beads to decrease stress. “Artists, singers, everyone buys bead … I produce ‘oltu stone.’”

A wholesale seller from Istanbul, Ömer Kızılsu, on the other hand, also travels to Egypt for the beads, and said he comes to İzmir once a month. “Recently, we can say that prayer beads made of buffalo and kuka trees are more popular than ever. The sale of those beads has really increased,” he said.

Observing that everyone had a different style in terms of prayer beads, Kızılsu said there were many regional differences in bead production. 

“While in Diyarbakır and İzmir people tend to prefer elegant and thin beads, in Central Anatolia, old people generally prefer large and long beads,” he said.

Turkey, prayer, beads