French, UK newspapers after dancing street sweeper
Fulya Soybaş – ISTANBUL
A Turkish street sweeper, who became a phenomenon after his 22-second video showing his “shiny” folk dance moves went viral, claims that journalists from dailies in France and the U.K. have been calling him for interviews.
The 33-year-old Hamit Karakaya became the “man the country is talking about” last week when a video went viral on social media.
The video showed the street sweeper, an employee of the municipality of the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray, dancing with joy and “without caring if there was someone around watching.”
When asked how it feels to be on Türkiye’s and the world’s agenda, Karakaya said, “It is good to be appreciated.”
Proudly saying that European journalists are after him for interviews, he highlighted his passion for music and dance.
According to him, this is not the first time he has come into the limelight. “Once, another dancing video of mine was posted on social media,” he said. “After the video, Enver Dinçer, the city mayor, bestowed headphones to me so that I can put on and listen to music while working.”
“Music keeps me motivated. I do my job more quickly and with more love while listening to music.”
When asked how the recent video was filmed, he pointed out the local effect of his first video.
“Locals know me from the wedding ceremonies or the first video,” he said. “While I was sweeping the streets, I heard music from a wedding ceremony held between the alleys, and I went there.”
Then the youngsters at the ceremony asked the “influencer” to “come and dance.”
“Breaking our citizens’ hearts does not go with me. So I took the stage, made two or three dance moves, and left,” Karakaya stated.
The street sweepers called all his social media fans to visit him in Aksaray. “Be my guest. One who is near me never gets old, I promise you,” he said in laughter.
“If you want to have a bee in the bonnet, there is a load of trouble everywhere. You either will be crushed under those troubles or be positive. I choose to be the latter,” Karakaya said.
But, this cheerful folk dancing street sweeper has a problem he hid from everyone.
“I have an 8-year-old son, Yasin. I haven’t seen him for years. My ex-wife does not permit me to see him,” Karakaya said.
Saying that he has some issues with the alimony, he said, “She says, ‘You are famous, pay me more.’ I am a municipality worker. How much can I earn?”
However, he hopes that Yasin will one day come to see him. “I know he will. I bought a cow for him. I am looking after it for him. I am his father and will always have his back.”
He admitted that the scar left behind in his heart due to his son’s absence “forced him to dance.”
“Put the headphones. Start the music. Sweep the streets. Go home with joy, or troubles will drive you nuts,” he added.