the soft texture in this state allows it to
be intricately carved into belt buckles, prayer
beads, necklaces, earrings and many other decorative
objects. Among the most popular pipe figures
carved by the meerschaum craftsmen are the heads
of sultans with imposing turbans and curly beards.
the 1970s large quantities of Turkish meerschaum
were exported in the raw state, particularly
to Austria, where it was made into pipes by
Viennese craftsmen and sold all over Europe.
In 1978 the export of raw meerschaum was prohibited
so as to expand the craft of meerschaum carving
in Eski?ehir. Bahaeddin Guney, governor
of Eski?ehir between 1989 and 1993, made a major
contribution to the meerschaum sector by initiating
the International Meerschaum White Gold Festival,
which includes a conference attended by experts
in the field.