Basket Weaving in Izmir.

One of Izmir’s regeneration plan actions aims at preserving the ancient basket weaving craft which is fading by training new basket weavers.
In this scope, the community is organizing basket weaving courses under the motto “We are carrying basketry to the future” and the support of local partner Bergama Directorate of Public Education Center, which locals can attend to.

In these courses, new weavers are being taught by one of the most respected basketry craftsmen in Bergama, Mustafa Pancar who was awarded “Respect to Masters Award” by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and Istanbul Büyükçekmece Municipality.

When asked what kind of qualifications should a basket craftsman have, Mustafa promply answers: “Firstly patience, then a tough body, logic and mathematic knowledge!”. Together with basket weaving techniques Mustafa shedds light onto the past with pleasant talks on the value of basket weaving had in the past and how conditions and requirements changed today.

With only two courses initially planned, Izmir’s Metropolitan Municipality is now promoting two more. The first courses were carried out during June and July of 2021 with a total of 35 participants. A total of 27 women, who seem to be the most interested groupm are participating in the new courses which began earlier this month.
Some of the trainees already started to develop their own business models and will be supported by the Municipality through local branding and marketing strategies, developed in the scope of RURITAGE Project.