80-year-old master Salim Yaşar enjoys a life dedicated to pottery
Living in Kınık village of the western province of Bilecik, Yaşar has been continuing the pottery profession for 67 years, which he learned at the workshop his father founded in 1946. Yaşar, who gives training to those who want to learn pottery in his workshop, also takes part in various fairs every year. The pottery master is sad that the products he makes from mud have been replaced by plastic products and that no apprentices want to be trained in the pottery profession.
“I worked as a potter in Germany for 15 years,” Yaşar said. “I went to Vietnam in 1992, where I taught this job for five years. I returned to my village in 1998 and still continue my profession here.”
Yaşar said the pottery products changed in time.
“We were making pickles and water jars in the 1970s,” he said.
“Additionally, we were making water jugs and pitchers. We made pots in the 1980s. When plastic entered our country in 1984, the demand for our products dropped.”
The pottery master said the profession was once very popular in his village.
“There were 80 workshops in this village in 2000,” he said.
“Every house had a workshop in its courtyard and garden. Currently, there are 30 working workshops. Around 12-13 of these workshops still make handmade products, while the others use molds and presses.”
While Yaşar became a national artist in pottery mastery, he was among the recipients of the “Living Human Treasures Representatives of the Heritage Transferred to the Future” certificate. Attending the ceremony held at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Yaşar received his award from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“President Erdoğan made a decision and awarded us with this,” he said. “I told him that I received this award on behalf of the potters in the village of Kınık. I am very happy and proud.”