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August 2008 LOCKS AND KEYS IN CAPPADOCIA  KAPADOKYA
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LOCKS AND KEYS IN CAPPADOCIA

LOCKS AND KEYS IN CAPPADOCIA

THE FRIENDSHIP REACHING OUT TO ETERNITY

Writer: Ayça Olcaytu İşçen
August 2008

The old locks and keys which overtake us in the antique shops are not being used nowadays but are keeping hints about our culture. Mehmet Yuğuran, in love with locks since his childhood, is one of the antique dealers.

The history of lock reaches to 4 thousands years ago in Egypt and Mesopotamia. During the years, the studies of the inventors and the developments in technology brought us today’s locking system. But the safest locks of today are being produced by having inspiration from old locks. For example, the everlasting Turcoman padlocks are the afflatus of some of the locks of last 15 years.

Cappadocia Locks
By their shapes, decoration and sizes, the locks reflect the culture in which they were created. For example the Greek or Armenian made locks have cross sign on their keys. We understand Ottoman locks by the help of their decorations of tulips or bell metal coat of arms. Also it is known that locks or the keys have the role of emphasizing the social statue of the owner. The size and the appearance of the locks as well as the decoration of the keys had direct proportion with the richness of the landlord. Moreover, the locks were the subject of many believes. Due to the sayings, in the past in Anatolia, the women were using the padlocks hanging on the door of lodge as a tool for asking lots. The ones who wanted to check his or her fortune first were healing faith and then sitting under the padlock; the beadle of the lodge were turning round the lock and due to the locks staying lock or unlock the luckiness or unluckiness of the person was believed in. 
It is known that in Cappadocia Turkish, Greek ad Armenian craftsmen were keen on making locks. Especially the padlocks used in houses and shops and the locks of the storages of grape, apricot or apple have been produced in such a professional way that to open one lock it was needed to first decode and then to use the key. In addition each lock had its own code system.
There were locks which had sound as they were unlocked.  The best example for them is the lock of the chest. In order to unlock the lock of the chest made of cypress tree,  nice smell and lasting to warms, the key were turning round in the lock and the tiny mallet inside were hitting the bell for two or three times.  Mehmet Yuğuran, who has an excellent old lock collection in his antique shop called ‘Antikite Mehmet’ and opposite of Uçhisar Castle, describes the lock of chests that: “The most precious goods such as, the dowry of the bridal, the gun or the sword of the master were keeping in the chests. The mother in law, the chief of the house never gave the key to anyone. She was carrying the key attached to her baggy trousers.  If some one from the house or outside the house took the key and opened it, the bell would ring and the mother in law would hear it. If the bride wanted to unlock it, she was done for.”

The man of heart in love with locks
For 30 years, the locks and the keys are the love of Mehmet who is 41 years old.  While he talks about the locks, normally kept in a window closet, he acts as if a father caress his child and his eyes and his voice effects you so much. After he graduated from Gemology, Lapidary and Jewellery Making and Ornament Design Program of 9 Eylül University of İzmir, in 1992 he opened his antique shop in Uçhisar and started to maintain and diversify his collection, his locks and keys. Mehmet examines each of them, tries to understand how their mechanism works and maintain if there are missing parts. Some of them have no key and some of them have a broken mechanism. He has some keys whose age is almost 300 years old. In order to emphasize the small place of the keys in this rich culture he says “I was able to rescue a drop from the ocean”. He thinks that this crafts should be re-examined and with this idea he held an exhibition in November 2006 in Nevşehir Culture and Art Center. He also plans to collect his researches about this topic in a book. The usage of old locks makes him really happy. Sometimes, he shares some of the original locks, not being part of his collection, with the boutique hotel owners or he maintains the locks and able them to be used. For example, the locks of Melekler Evi in Ürgüp and Kale Konak in Uçhisar were being maintained by him.
In order to have more information: www.antikite.com

Note: This article has been published in Peribacası Cappadocia Culture and Publicity Magazine, August 2008 issue. It is under protection of the copyrights of the magazine. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by electronic, mechanical or other means without prior permission from the owner. www.cappadociaexplorer.com


 


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Reading Reading: 3522 Eklenme Tarihi Date: 2009-06-23
Mehmet Yuğuran
Mehmet Yuğuran
A cupboard lock
A cupboard lock
A padlock
A padlock
A Turcoman padlock
A Turcoman padlock
A Turcoman padlock
A Turcoman padlock
A storage closeout lock
A storage closeout lock
Chest keys
Chest keys
A chest lock
A chest lock
Chest and cupboard locks
Chest and cupboard locks
A door lock from Nevşehir
A door lock from Nevşehir
A door lock from Nevşehir
A door lock from Nevşehir
A door lock from Nevşehir
A door lock from Nevşehir


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