Tayfun Kopan welcomes me into his carpet shop which is located on a side street in Kyrenia harbour. We sit down amongst the oriental rugs and I pick up my notebook. Tayfun says that he has had the shop for 11 years and that he is also the owner of the two neighbouring shops selling traditional handmade ornaments and lights. The shops are under the name Fanus Gift Shop and oriental carpets.
Many of us have probably at one time or another dreamed of owning an oriental rug. Tayfun says he purchases the rugs directly from importers, who in turn buy all the rugs directly from villages in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.
– Since the rugs are handmade, they are not usually uniform in size and shape when they are collected from the villages, says Tayfun. They can be distinguished by a few centimetres in length on various sides and can be corrected by inserting nails into the carpets edges and stretched out to the right propositions. The professionally executed process ends with the carpet being cleaned and flattened to lie perfectly flat on the floor.
Tayfun buy the rugs when they are perfectly prepared-made and ready to be sold.
Prices of carpets vary depending on the size, but also by the manner in which they were manufactured. There are both woven and knotted carpets, the woven takes a month on average to produce, while a knotted carpet can take over six months to manufacture.
Tayfun produces two carpets as an example. The woven carpet has a price tag of 500 Turkish lira, while the knotted carpet costs 4800 Turkish lira.
– The rugs are also of different quality depending on the knot tightness he explains. There’s a simple tip for those who want to check the quality of a carpet, turn it over and look at the back. If the knots are tight and the carpet is nice and even just like on the face then it is a carpet of high quality.
For those thinking, why spend money on a handmade rug, Tayfun usually responds, the same reason as buying a hand-painted picture. It is a beautiful decorative detail that enhances the well-being of a room. A carpet actually has an advantage, in that it warms the feet and is comfortable to walk on.
Tayfun smiles as he says that customers tend to avoid walking on the rugs in the store.
– When I roll out a handmade rug on the floor, they tend to walk around it, watch it and wary of putting their feet on it. A carpet has of course been made to walk on! He laughs.
Many of his customers are tourists who appreciate the beauty of the craftsmanship and want to buy a carpet to take home from their trip to North Cyprus. Tayfun says that they do not have to worry about shipping because a rug can be folded and easily transported home. He takes out a carpet that he quickly folds and puts in a little Bag. A rug is durable and can be folded up that way for up to two months without any damage.
– An Oriental rug is a decorative item that age’s beautifully, 80 years is nothing for a carpet.
I nod and agree with him. Additionally an Oriental rug is something that feels timeless in a way that it allows it to be matched with a variety of interior styles.
We rise and go into Tayfuns second shop with the ornaments and lamps. For me, who loves Turkish lamps and lanterns, this is a piece of heaven, if one is to express themselves poetically. Tayfun sees how I admire them and says smilingly that people who come here have always been colourful. The Lamps and Lanterns can be found in all colours and sizes. If you want them with light bulbs, it only takes a few minutes for Tayfun to install them and at no additional cost. They also come with hooks for if you want to hang them on the wall.
Take your happy time to go past Fanus Gift Shop, you are sure to find something to your taste.
Tayfun helps customers to fold the carpet so they can transport it home in a convenient way.
Rug from Iran with many details and patterns.
Carpet from Kazakhstan with many colors.
Rugs from Afghanistan are dark red in color.