Souvenirs reflect city culture
KARABÜK - Anatolia News Agency
The historical structures of Safranbolu are placed on various products such as sugar bowls, napkin holders, magnets and keyrings. Also, the models of unique Safranbolu mansions are sold in various sizes and shapes. AA photoModels of historical structures like mansions, hans and baths that have been preserved in their original state for some 300 years in the Black Sea province of Karabük’s Safranbolu district are among the most popular souvenir items in the province.
The structures, which were built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries without any architectural plan, caused Safranbolu to be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The models reflect the unique beauties of hans, baths, mosques, fountains, bridges and mansions in the town and receive great interest from both local and foreign tourists.
In the historical town, which is regarded as an open-air museum, handiwork masters produce these models in various workshops. Their products are also sold over the Internet.
A souvenir seller in the town, Hüsnü Özdemir, said they sold the models master craftsmen provided to foreign tourists, especially from countries like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Canada.
He said mansion models were the most popular. “These models reflecting our cultural richness are a source of income for us. There are nearly 30 workshops where these models are produced in the town. Tourists buy them to give their friends and relatives. They are sold at prices between five and 3,000 Turkish Liras. Prices vary according to quality and size.”
Özdemir said lots of Chinese-made souvenirs were also sold in the town, but the ones reflecting the city’s culture attracted much more interest. “The souvenirs made in China are sold in various sizes and shapes, but they do not draw as much interest as the models of historical structures. In order to compete against made-in-China souvenirs, the unique mansions of the town are placed on various products such as sugar bowls, napkin holders, magnets and keyrings.”
Safranbolu Mayor Necdet Aksoy said they had established a center to protect the cultural richness of the town and preserve it for future generations. “We manufacture in this center and provide support for artisans. These products are presented to tourists via our artisans. Thanks to these products, we promote our town as well.”