In his earliest childhood memories, he remembers his elders weaving kilims every single year during the autumn season. It was something of their culture, something they repeated over and over again. The harsh winter weather meant that most of the women stayed at home, so during those times women kept themselves busy by weaving kilims. Their handiwork continued until April when the market business returned. When the time came to present their work to the villagers, those who were interested could purchase or barter for the kilims they desired. This is how it all began.
Seeing the growing interest in kilims, Tahir Abi saw this as an opportunity to expand the culture and trade to a broader community, and make a business of it. Finally, he found the occupation that was meant for him. As he expanded his knowledge and developed his interest in Turkish carpets, he began his business by purchasing kilims from different backgrounds.
In 1987, he opened his first shop in Van. There he sold the handmade kilims he purchased, giving the tourists and buyers a deeper insight into the culture behind these beautiful works of art. As his business grew, he opened a carpet showroom near Lake Van, which is a highly visited location in Van, showing visitors the process of weaving kilims from raw materials. There, people not only had a broad perspective of different kilims, but also had the opportunity to closely experience the process of weaving them.
Things started to get on a higher level when Tahir Abi’s path crossed with this ancient kervansaray, (caravanserai), located in Istanbul. He was deeply moved by the authentic beauty of this place, and could vividly picture himself growing his business here. Since then, for almost 15 years, he has been actively trading and selling carpets all around the world, opening its doors to visitors.
Their new project for 2023, is to open a carpet shop in Göbeklitepe, one of the most prominent historical sites of Turkey which has grown more notoriety in recent years. Asurya is the name of his new store, which is estimated to open its doors to visitors in March. He also plans to establish a carpet factory there, in which visitors from all around the world would be able to experience the process of creating authentic kilims. The most touching part is that he will center this place around women workers, in order to empower them to achieve greater economic prosperity through their handicrafts. By going there, and purchasing Turkish carpets, you will be contributing to this important mission and be part of those people’s lives, giving them greater hope.
-written by Julide Koca