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Another time in Bursa - Anatolian Transport Museum
2002 / November

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar (1901-1962), one of Turkey’s foremost 20th century novelists, wrote that ‘In Bursa there is a another, second time.’ What he meant by that ‘second time’ can be seen when you look at a mosque, a tomb, an ancient plane tree, a han or a fountain in the city, where the past seems ever present. The aspect of the past I was seeking in Bursa on this visit was the carts and carriages that used to clatter through the narrow streets.
The cart known as esebey is that which used to be the most common form of goods transport in Bursa. Loaded with rows of tall baskets filled with silk worm crysalises, they used to deliver these to the workshops where the raw silk was reeled off. But the clatter of horse hooves and wooden wheels on the cobbles and the chatter of the workmen as they caught the ends of silk in the boiling cauldrons and fitted them over the reels are only echoes today between the walls of one of these old workshops.

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Another time in Bursa - Anatolian Transport Museum
2002 / November


This building today houses the Tofas Anatolian Transport Museum. The exhibits include carts that were pulled by horses and oxen, horse drawn carriages and early motorised vehicles of later years. Each one has an interesting story to tell of the life and labours of the past. Earliest of all is a reproduction of a 2600 year old cart discovered in excavations of the Üçpinar tumulus and placed in the archaeological museum. This cart was reconstructed by the last remaining cart maker in Bursa for the new museum.
Bursa lay on the Silk Road and was a centre of commerce, silk weaving and many other trades. Carts were therefore an important item of manufacture, used to transport silk produced in Bursa to Istanbul, Edirne and other more distant parts of the country, ice and snow from Mount Uludag, crops harvested from the orchards and fields of the region, household goods and even wedding parties.

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Another time in Bursa - Anatolian Transport Museum
2002 / November
 
Many types of carts once produced in Anatolia can be seen at the Museum of Anatolian Transport. One of these, the esebey, is named after the village of Isabey in Bursa province. With their colourful painted decoration, large wheels and high sides these beautiful carts were made to travel the plains of Bursa and are among the most impressive exhibits in the museum. Another highly decorative example is the Istanbul çarkli cart. Museum staff searched in many parts of Turkey for surviving carts that had been abandoned to their fate - some to be burnt as firewood and others left to rot away. The carts that were rescued were then restored before being placed on exhibit. They include carts used for carrying goods, phaetons and other passenger carriages, and gun carriages.
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Another time in Bursa - Anatolian Transport Museum
2002 / November


While most of the carts were horsedrawn, there are also ox carts and the first Turkish built car, the Anadol. The fascinating story of their development from past to present as displayed in the museum is summed up by Professor Önder Küçükerman: ‘The Anatolian Transport Museum is not just a collection of old vehicles, but throws light on the manufacture of transport vehicles in Anatolia over thousands of years. Each is a vivid and impressive corner stone of this craft and culture.’

Abdullah Kiliç is a journalist.

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Another time in Bursa - Anatolian Transport Museum
2002 / November

To reach the cave head south on the road to Boyabat from Ayancik, a small town west of Sinop, and after 17 kilometres take the turnoff to the left to the village of Inalti. From the village it is a walk of 10-15 minutes to the cave, which is surrounded by thick forest. Under the project the path to the cave has been widened and and the steps paved. The lighting system within the cave has been designed according to specifications prepared by the university so as not to disturb the cav'sr natural structure.

This spectacular underground world leaves indelible impressions on your memory. Finding words to describe its wonders is hard. My companion was quicker to do so, summing it up as 'magical and sometimes scary,' and adding that she would not like to be left alone inside

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Another time in Bursa - Anatolian Transport Museum
2002 / November

When we left my mind was filled with images of the cave below, mingled with those of the pine forest rising into the sky above.

* Ibrahim Yogurtçu is a photographer and writer.


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