Dear friends and family,
June 2006 -
Summertime on the Anatolian plateau: Images of brown hills, dry heat and magpies hold the minds eye.
Turkey has exploded in population since my first visit in 1963. Konya in 1950 had a population of less than 30,000 souls. Today it is almost one and a half million. Housing has also changed: once everyone lived in low adobe type homes around an enclosed courtyard. Today, massive apartment buildings are the norm, and everyone has automobiles, rather than horses and bycles.
In addition to Konya, we (our manager, Stephanie Tanner and myself) visited Capadocia. Capadocia in the old days was more like Chatal Hyuk - empty space and a few villagers offering to help the tourists. Today, it is a major tourist center, with hotels and restaurants.
Amidst all the changes in the past 3o years of business explorations one thing has remained constant: the hospitality and good business I find in Konya.
This trip I concentrated on Central Asian and the last of the Caucasian textiles. Konya has always had better selection and prices than Istanbul. It was once explained to me that the Russian dealers stop in Konya, enroute to Istanbul. And, they are hungry for cash to use in the "big city." I call it 'hotel business.'
Next trip (September) I hope to visit Russia and see what textiles are still available, and have not yet entered the pipeline out.
Saul & the Sun Bow Crew