Turkey, Culture, Africa

Traditional Turkish handicrafts draw attention in South Africa

Calligrapher Refik Carikci says Turkish art very popular in Johannesburg

Murat Ozgur Guvendik   | 08.06.2021
Traditional Turkish handicrafts draw attention in South Africa ( Johannesburg Yunus Emre Enstitüsü - Anadolu Ajansı )


A calligrapher teaching traditional Turkish handicrafts to South Africans in Johannesburg said Turkish art is very popular in South Africa.

“Traditional Turkish handicrafts draw heavy attention from South Africans. People are really inclined to learn this art,” Refik Carikci, who teaches traditional handicrafts at Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Cultural Center in Johannesburg, told Anadolu Agency.

Carikci said he was introduced to the art of calligraphy in a Quran course in the German capital Berlin when he was 12-year old, adding: "When I met the Quran and saw its letters, I had the feeling that I had found something I had lost."

He said that his talent for calligraphy was first discovered by his teacher in the course.

After receiving calligraphy training in Germany for four years, he said he returned to Turkey and started to practice art professionally with calligrapher Mustafa Efendi from Uskudar district of Istanbul province.

Being a traveler

He said that he discovered his wandering side at the age of 17, after a trip he made along with his family from Germany to Turkey.

He said he traveled to Nakhchivan, Armenia, Iran and Afghanistan for three months during his first trip, adding: "Of course, we went through hard times, but I discovered that traveling is a very good experience. I have visited 152 countries from the age of 17 to 50.”

He settled in Johannesburg after traveling around the world for years. Carikci stated that the main reason for settling there was the love he felt for his South African wife.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan from Istanbul

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