Family / Evlimisiniz ve çocuğunuz varmi
Married to my second wife with one son who is five years old. From my first marriage I have three children and six grandchildren. My father and mother (90 and 87) are still alive and live in Kilis.
What time do you get up? / Saat kaçta uyanırsınız?
I get up at 08.00.
What’s for breakfast? / Kahvaltıda ne seversiniz?
Turkish breakfast and çay.
What time do you start work? / Saat kaçta çalışmaya başlarsiniz?
I try to be at work by 09.00.
What time do you stop work? / Saat kaçta işiniz biter?
It’ quite late - usually around midnight.
Tell us something about your background and your working life. / Lütfen biraz bilgi söylermisiniz kendi arka plan yaşamınız ve çalışma hayatınız ile ilgili.
I had only five years at school. I finished my formal education when I was just 12 years old. I wanted to continue with my education and my teacher suggested I was good enough to go to art school but my parents didn’t agree. They wanted me to start working because as a family we needed the income.
So at 12 years of age I started working as a labourer on local construction sites. When I was 19 I did my national service. After that I worked in Istanbul for eight years as a guard/caretaker/watchman.
I was still drawing for my own pleasure but not earning anything from it. This changed when I moved to Çeşme near Izmir and I started to work as a tattooist. I spent five years there before moving to Ölüdeniz where I also started to do portraits.
In 1994 I came down to Patara/Gelemiş where I continued to do tattoos and paintings and I found some work painting local shop signs. Some businesses asked me to paint murals on their walls which I was happy to do. By 1997 business in Gelemiş was slowing down and I decided to move to Kalkan which seemed to be getting busier. I have lived here ever since. I am now 60 years old.
What’s the best thing about your job? / Yaptiniz işte en sevdiği şey nedir?
I get pleasure from being creative and it is also satisfying to see others liking my work.
Describe a typical day / Bir gününüzün nasıl geçtini anlatir misiniz
I have breakfast at home with my family in Akbel then I come into Kalkan and set up in my spot on the pavement between Mussakka Restaurant and Bade Cafe Bar. There are not too many customers in the morning but I can paint for about three hours before I go home for lunch.
I rest for a few hours - I may sleep for a while and then by about 4 o’clock I return to Kalkan. It’s busier in the evening as people walk into town and then later at night when they are walking back up to the taxi rank opposite me. I sell most paintings in the evening.
By midnight there are not so many people about and I pack up my things and go home.
Do the seasons make a difference with your work? If so, how? / Yazın işinizde değişiklik oluyormu? Oluyorsa anlatın?
Yes. In the summer months when we have more visitors I do most tattoos. I also sell paintings - landscapes and portraits. I am sometimes asked by businesses to paint signs and murals. I can do this for villa owners too.
In the winter I may spend more time at home where one of my rooms is my workshop. I still come down to Kalkan from time to time if I think there are enough visitors who may buy my work.
What makes you happy? / Sizi en çok ne mutlu eder?
If I see other people happy it makes me happy, especially if they are happy with what I have created.
My son makes me happy. If I have had a good day and I have the money I like to get my son a present as a surprise - seeing his face makes me happy.
If you were not doing this job, what else would you like to do? / Şu anki yaptiğiniz işi yapmıyor olsaydiniz ne iş yapmek isterdiniz?
Probably something to do with tourism - maybe a tour guide.
What music do you like to listen to? / Hangi müziği dinlemeyi seviyorsunuz?
I really like Latin music. I enjoy listening to singers like Julio Iglesias. I also like traditional Turkish music.
If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be, and why? / Eğer dünyada yaşayan yada yaşamayan herhangi biriyle tanışmanız mümkün olsaydı onun kim olmasını isterdiniz?
It would have been incredible to have met Atatürk. We owe him so much.
Another man I would like to have met is the Serbian born inventor, engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla. He had a brilliant mind and developed so many amazing ideas but despite his genius his life had an unhappy ending.
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know. / Kendinizle ilgili bir çok insanın bilmediği bir şeyi anlatırmısınız
Even though my formal eduction was limited I have read many books including the Quran and Das Capital by Karl Marx. I like to read books about art and the world’s greatest artists.
Anything else / Başka her hangi birşey
I can play the saz (a Turkish stringed instrument) and also the guitar.
Here are some examples of my work.