Hüseyin Acar (69), who lives in the Turgut Reis district of Bodrum, has been making baskets with the branches he collects from the forest every morning for more than 50 years.
Acar, one of the last representatives of basket knitting, loves his profession and earns his living by selling his handmade baskets. The father of three children, Acar never gave up basket making even though he worked many different jobs in his youth. He also knits hammocks and bags, and sells them with the baskets at a roadside. Basket prices vary depending on size.
Acar said that he was attracted to making baskets from a young age. “I used to go to my uncle when I was little. He knitted a basket for me and I liked it very much”.
After collecting enough branches, he peels off the shells one by one. The baskets he makes are used for many purposes. “My baskets can be used for fishing in the sea or as lamps. Sometimes you can use one as a coffee table in the living room. I don’t just make baskets. I knit bags and hammocks and I do it all myself”.
Sales are at their best in April and May. “People are getting ready to go fishing in those months and naturally it increases the demand”, said Acar. “In the summer, baskets and hammocks are popular. Many tourists used to come here, but trade has decreased due to the pandemic. Now sometimes I sell two baskets, or none at all. I have difficulties as there are no customers, but I love what I do”.