Grand Bazaar Of Jewellery

141The most important characteristic of Nacit Pak, who has perceived jewelıy making as an art and shared his beautiful designs with people in Zinciı·!i Inn for years, is that he was able to become one of the best in his job without needing the help of any masters. He passeel his apprenticeship, faremanship and mastership periods with very unusual methods. I am passing on his life stoıy in his own words: “I was bom in Skopje, Macedonia in 1950. With its Stone Bridge, mosques and inns, it was a pretty Ottoman city, which was enriched by Vardar River. In the years I was bom, Macedonia’s population was eighty thousancl and 85% of people were Turks. We had been living in Macedonia for nine generations without any compromises from our Turkish language and traditions. Our first generatian was sent here as raiders from Turkey. We felt homesick and came to İstanbul after separating from our relatives in September of 1955. Though, no one knows its name now, we starteel to live in Taşkasap. According to my father, we moved to İstanbul because of the uncertainty of things, however, the main reason of our retum was the unbearable longing for our home countıy.

When I starteel my education in Çapa primaıy school, Millet Street was being expropriated and the schools were being destroyed. We and other students from 4 different schools starteel to go to Topkapı Karaahmetpaşa School three days a week. 2 years later, we could have an orderly education in our new schools. I wanted to be a jeweler. With the help of Diran Şen -he was an influential jeweler in the Bazaar- and other friends, I was ready to be a jeweler but I was not accepted. After that, I starteel to work with my master, Recep Özoguz in a workshop in Zincidi Inn that belonged to  filigree maker Sait Şirazi, who had to stay in bed because of his illnesses. I have grasped the job in six months. I became a fareman when I was 14 years old.Sait Şirazi invited me to his home to meet me.He could hardly talk to me in his bed. He wanted to talk to me in private. He told me that he was pleased with my performance. I was very happy.

When I said, “What else can I do? It is of course my duty to try to do my best in my job”, he uttered the words that I would never forget in my life: “There are people who steal something !ike the way we all know. They get their punishment. And there are those who ignore their jobs and waste their time. By doing so, they steal from their work.They receive their salaries without even realizing that they too are thieves. ”  He died a few after our meeting. My master, Recep, wanted me to stay with him while he was setting up his own business.After a few months, since the ineome in filigree making was very low, I asked him to change our branch. He kept silent. Later, I made copper braided bracelets that I had been wanted to make for a long time.After he had seen what I made, we left making filigrees and started to make bracelets. We had almost one hundred designs in one year. However, my desire in designing and making jewelry mountings increased, rather than coming to an end. I had a workbench built at home so that I could work at night. I was making mountings with diamonds and other jewelry for my friends. Most people did not know my second job. I was known for making braided bracelets and getting many job offers. I didn’t want to accept these offers because I hadn’t done my military service yet at the time. On the other hand, my father didn’t want me to leave my master alone. I left to do my military service. After I came back, I worked with my master for a short time. I decided to start my own business. In 1974, I opened up my own workshop. The unemployment rate was increased in those years. The treadesmen were in a difficult situation. There were even people who left the jewelry business. On top of it, my father suddenly passed away in this difficult year.

Jewelers started to make white gold in those years and I decided to make mountings from the white gold. Since the people araund me had no idea that I had already knew how to make them, they told me that making mountings was a difficult job, I would not be able to do it and that I would be ridiculed if I couldn’t pull it off. Yes, it wasn’t easy because I did not even watch how it was done, let alone learned from a master. Nonetheless, once you take refuge in God and the divine Mercy makes everything easy for you. Determination and patience are a must. I am the first Muslim mounting maker without a master. Mr.Kirikor from Rokoko Jewelry, which was the most reputable jeweler of 70′s, wanted me to make a heavy necklace and a bracelet. I made them and they loved them. Now, Iate Rokoko is being remembered by his business centre. I had made mountings until 1980. I always remember Iate Kemal Gündoğdu, Ziya and Şevki Kılıç along with Harndi Kökler and Fuat Kırgız, who are stili alive, with respect.

I received many great job offers. One of them was from a worldwide known stock broker company. They wished us to be a global brand in jewelry business. Yet, I declined their offer as I was satisfied with my job at the time, and did not want to leave my country-” “The Grand Bazaar is a passion. I have loved it since I started to work here in 1964. It is my 40th year in Zincidi Inn. I cannot think of leaving here, I still love the Bazaar. It is the people what makes a place loveable. To keep things in order, we need to show same courtesy. It is said that everyone can be coquettish, but cannot be delicate. There are many bazaars, but there is only one Grand Bazaar. We should turn it to number one. It is old and tired now. We should energize it with love and attention, so that it can get younger again.

Nacit Pak

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