Handicrafts in Sakarya are still produced, especially in Taraklı District, which is one of the towns included in the Cittaslow (Slow City) network. In the villages of Alballar, Kemaller, Esenyurt and Mahdumlar, handicraftsmen still produce spoons, some household and kitchen items (chests, coffee tables, lampshades, bread baskets, etc.) and walking sticks. In addition to Taraklı, walking stick making still continues in Akyazı and Kayalar Memduhiye. Among other handicrafts, pottery, broom making, basketry and wickerwork are still the prominent handicrafts of Sakarya.
Traditional Comb Making
Evliya Çelebi (1611-1688), in his famous Seyahatname, mentions from Taraklı Town as follows: "Since all the people of Taraklı are engaged in making spoons and comb, they call the city Taraklı. The mountains are covered with pure boxwood and the people process them and send them to distant lands.”
Tarak means “comb” and the Taraklı means “the place or the person with comb” in Turkish. So, the town gets its name from the traditional handicraft of the region.
The elderly living in the region say that the habit of using comb is beneficial in preventing all kinds of hair problems. In the region, the combs are made of boxwood, hornbeam, pear and good grade walnut trees. Boxwood is more preferred because of its light colour and durability.
It is a very common traditional handicraft that has been practiced in Taraklı District for centuries. Boxwood and beech are used in making spoons. The spoon made of boxwood is more valuable than the spoons made from other trees.
Model Taraklı Houses
The models of the “Taraklı Houses (Taraklı Evleri)”, which are the most beautiful examples of Ottoman Period Turkish Architecture, are produced and the architectural tradition is continued with model house construction.
Traditional Broom Making
In addition to the type known as mirrored broom (aynalı süpürge) or fancy broom (süslü süpürge) in engagement and wedding traditions, brooms produced in different sizes and with different accessories maintain their value as a traditional art product from Sakarya.
Basket making (sepetçilik) is still made by knitting from reed, willow, walnut and hazelnut branches the way the ancestors did. Especially in Sapanca, Adapazarı-Abalı and Geyve, products including different varieties such as fruit basket, laundry basket, bread box, newspaper holder, table, chair and lampshade are produced.