Museum presents journey to distant past

Museum presents journey to distant past

BALIKESİR – Anadolu Agency
Museum presents journey to distant past

AA photo

An 86-year-old olive oil factory that has been restored and turned into the Sarıkız Kazdağı (Mount Ida) Ethnography Gallery, is bringing visitors on a journey 4,000 years into the past in northwestern province of Balıkesir’s Edremit district. 

The gallery, founded by Murat and Uğur Bostancıoğlu brothers in memory of their father, Ali Bostancıoğlu, six months ago on the Güre coast, presents sections on all developments since the 2nd millennium B.C. in the Gulf of Edremit. 

Murat Bostancıoğlu said they had established the museum after six years of work. He said that during the establishment process, they received support from the head of the excavations on the ancient city of Antandros, Professor Gürcan Polat, and the head of the Historic Antandros Rescue and Preservation Association, Gülçin Cömert, as well as many artists and academics. 

Stating that the gallery presented an eight-minute video screening in the entrance, featuring mythological heroes and Mount Ida legends, Murat Bostanoğlu said history was told with the help of mockups. 

“The travel in the gallery starts with the Mount Ida myths. We try to show the mythological elements on the mountain. The video features the world’s first beauty contest, the Trojan War, the collapse of Troy, the fight between Achilles and Hector and finally the travel of Hector’s cousin Aeneas with his father from Antandros to Rome. Right after, we give information about olive and olive production in our region,” he said. 

From Sabahattin Ali to Tuncel Kurtiz

Murat Bostancıoğlu said they also opened a corner for artists and writers who had left their mark on the Gulf of Edremit. 

“We had writer and poet Sabahattin Ali’s bee’s wax statue made. Ali spent his childhood here and he mentioned Mount Ida; he wrote a poem for it. He also tells of Edremit in his novel ‘Kuyucaklı Yusuf.’ In his ‘Madonna in a Fur Coat,’ the Raif Bey character is the son of an olive oil producer. Ali was seen in this region all the time,” he said. 

Ali was a famous writer and socialist that went missing in 1948 along the Bulgarian border. His disappearance has never been solved, but he is believed to have been killed by Turkey’s deep state.

“Another important figure is the actor Tuncel Kurtiz. He spent his final years on Mount Ida. His father was a district governor so his childhood was in Edremit, too. Then he moved here. He is a significant person to promote the name of Mount Ida. This is why we have his bee wax statue in the gallery. Among other well-known figures who lived in our region are Şükrü Tunar and Ali Ekber Çiçek. We also feature historians from Edremit. We support them with old gulf photos and mockups. Visitors can spend an enjoyable 20 minutes in the gallery,” he said. 

Journey starts from 2,000 BC 

The brothers invite visitors to the gallery for a journey into the past. “In this gallery, we start from 2,000 years ago to today. This region starts with the Trojan culture and then the Luvi and Lelek kingdoms. Then we see the Romans in this region. They are followed by the Ottomans, Seljuks and, finally, Mehmed the Conqueror comes to the region. When conquering Istanbul, he used cradles made of limbers from Mount Ida. He brought the Turkmens here and gave Mount Ida to them. We feature this in our gallery. The journey ends with a corner for Atatürk.”