Turkish kebab vendors popular in Australia
MELBOURNE - Anadolu Agency
Döner has become famous in Australia with Turks and is now preparing to celebrate its 50th year in the country. The number of caravan kebab vendors has reached 3,000 around the country in the busiest streets. They are open during night hours, offering döner kebab until sunrise to earn their living.
Among the biggest problems of these vendors in Australia, which is a country of many ethnic-origins, is that they work at night and sleep during the day, so they do not have enough time to spend time with their family. They also complain about those who want to pay later and drug addicts.
Ali Karabacak, who operates a caravan kebab in the city center in Melbourne, said they had difficulty because of long working hours at night but they made good money.
“Thank God I earn good money but family life is a bit of a problem. We work all night and sleep until noon. But what else can we do?” said Karabacak.
“It is going well. We have been working for 17 years and have not had a problem so far. We have frequent Turkish and foreign customers. We are very happy. We are here as a family and sell döner kebab,” said Şerife Karabulut, who works with her family members in a neighborhood where mostly Turks live.
Mustafa Hasmaden, who spent 18 years as a vendor, said they had to work non-stop. “We are open seven days a week, as well as during the holidays. We cannot even close during our own religious holidays because our customers want it,” said Hasmaden.
Working as a caravan kebab vendor for 25 years, Adnan Akgün said his customers were generally taxi drivers and those who like night life.
While most of their customers are cheerful people, Akgün said he sometimes had trouble with drunk people.
In order to prevent violence, alcohol has been banned after 1:30 a.m. in Sydney’s city center but that has caused a decrease in the number of customers, Akgül said.
“This is why [not as many] people go out at night, which has affected us and taxi drivers. As far as I know, some vendors are in a lot of trouble in the city center,” he said.
A local Sydney taxi driver Anis Rahman, who is one of the occasional customers of caravan kebab vendors, said he was very pleased the kebab vendors are open all night.
“Turkish kebab is wonderful. We can go whenever we want since it is open all night, so that’s very good,” he added.
Döner kebab in pita bread is sold for 10 Australian dollars. A caravan kebab vendor makes 8,500 Australian dollars a week and 442,000 Australian dollars annually.
On the other hand, the gross transaction volume (GTV) for the nearly 5,000 döner kebab vendors who work during the day is 2 billion Australian dollars.