Pottery only remains the same in kayaköy

26th, 2011
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The only thing that could not be changed with the population exchange is said to be the pottery continuing in the same way for more than 3 centuries in Kayaköy, the Greek settlement in Fethiye. History of Kayaköy dates back thousands of years, yet, won its reputation with population exchange after the War of Independence rather than many thousands of years of history.
As a result of the population exchange program between Greece and Turkey, Kayakoy which is now a symbol of peace and friendship between Greek and Turkish nations, has been abandoned to a loneliness with its narrow streets and silent houses but the craft of pottery could not be extinguished. “Birds Without Wings” written by famous British Louis de Bernieres was has been published 2004, and has been translated into Turkish recently.
The novel portrays the tragic love story of Greek girl Philothei and Turkish boy İbrahim, and the story covers the impact of religious intolerance, over-zealous nationalism, and the war that often results. The characters are unwittingly caught up in historical tides outside of their control. The book’s title is taken from a saying by one of the characters, İskender the Potter. It is told that people living back at the time used to communicate remotely with the copper clay pipes made by Potter İskender and in addition, they kept their food in clay pots made by him again.
Emrah Berk, a potter from İzmir, was influenced by the story of his colleague İskender after reading the British author’s book, and decided to produce pottery in Kayaköy using the master’s techniques. In his small workshop at the entrance to Kayaköy, Emrah Berk makes his pots on the pottery wheel turned with his feet using the same clay and the same methods of 3 centuries ago. He told he might probably be the last as the successor of the master to able to continue the art of the craftsman.
Every day, he shows pottery to hundreds of local and foreign tourists, and in his works of clay you can find reliefs, candle holders, pitchers, wine cups and other gift forms defining Kayaköy. Clay pottery is completed in four phases and first, takes the form on the wheel before processing. Then the fine work is completed on the copper clay. It is sun-dried, and finally, cooked in the oven of a thousand degrees. Emrah Berk told he is happy to be the last representative of a profession which continues for more than 3 centuries, “I am from İzmir and a pottery craftsman by trade for 18 years. I was so influenced by the potter İskender in the novel Birds Without Wings that I moved to Kayaköy. I use the same clay and the methods of 3 centuries ago. My forms are not limited to pots, I’m making items for daily use and gifts about KAYAKÖY.”

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