A bladesmith from the eastern province of Malatya has become famous for producing and selling swords and chef knifes made with a special kind of steel called “Damascus steel” across the country and abroad.
“I have clients from 75 out of all 81 provinces. I export chef knives to Germany, the United Kingdom and Austria,” Yusuf Bayyiğit, the fourth generation representative of a family business, told the state-run Anadolu Agency.
As he is working alone, it takes nearly two months for him to start working on an order.
Bayyiğit is also supplying specially crafted items to the sets of the Turkish historical TV series. “I have made knives and swords. I sent all of them to producers. I see my products in historical TV series,” he noted.
When asked about the characteristics of the “Damascus steel,” he drew attention to its durable character.
“It is a very special kind of steel. You can only give shape to it after numerous steps. Beginners can not shape it. Years of professional experience is needed to forge and make designs on products made with Damascus steel,” he noted.
Bayyiğit said he “creates a work after hammering Damascus steel some tens of thousands of times.”
When asked why chefs prefer knives made of Damascus steel, Bayyiğit said they are preferred due to their flexibility and durableness.
Forging is a tough job; forging Damascus steel is tougher. “It is my family business. My father was an ironmonger for 75 years. My grandfather worked all through his life,” he said, adding that his uncles and cousins continued the profession and that now he is doing the same.
According to Bayyiğit, this profession is disappearing in Turkey day by day.
“You need to shape the steel with a spirit and dominate it with fire; every step of forging needs a good balance of work. There are very few people left who are doing it,” he highlighted.
Hurriyet Daily News