Traditional Turkish handicrafts draw attention in South Africa
A calligrapher teaching traditional Turkish handicrafts to South Africans in Johannesburg said Turkish art is very popular in South Africa.
“Traditional Turkish handicrafts draw heavy attention from South Africans. People are really inclined to learn this art,” Refik Çarıkçı, who teaches traditional handicrafts at Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Cultural Center in Johannesburg, said.
Çarıkçı said he was introduced to the art of calligraphy in a Quran course in the German capital Berlin when he was 12-year old.
“When I met the Quran and saw its letters, I had the feeling that I had found something I had lost,” Çarıkçı noted.
He said that his talent for calligraphy was first discovered by his teacher in the course.
After receiving calligraphy training in Germany for four years, he said he returned to Turkey and started to practice art professionally with calligrapher Mustafa Efendi from Üsküdar district of Istanbul province.
He settled in Johannesburg after traveling around the world for years.
Çarıkçı stated that the main reason for settling there was the love he felt for his South African wife.