Eyüp Mermer, who sells cassette tapes in his 25-square-meter
(269-square-foot) shop in the historic Bedesten Çarşısı (Covered Bazaar) in
Konya province, sheds light on Turkish music history with thousands of tapes. The
tapes in the music market have lost their popularity to CDs, flash memory
devices, memory cards, mobile phones and the internet after technological
developments. However, those who love nostalgia still resist technology.
Mermer, one of them with a passion for music and collecting, has been selling
tapes for nearly half a century at his shop and tries to keep the cassette tape
culture alive, which has started fading from the music market with
Mermer, who bought cassettes from the Unkapanı record
sellers' bazaar in Istanbul in the '90s, said he decided to sell cassettes
after dabbling in a number of different professions such as hardware. Starting
his business with the mobile stall he bought in 1976, Mermer told that he
raised his three children with the income he earned from the shop he opened in
Underlining that he was trying to protect his profession
against time, Mermer said: "I used to sell around the Eski Garaj (Old
Garage) with a vehicle. Things were very good at that time. People would start
waiting for me even before I set out with my mobile stall every day and went to
the place where I was going to sell."
"Other vendors did not have many varieties," said
Mermer, adding that he had all the tapes customers wanted at that time.
Noting that passersby and enthusiasts visit the shop, he
highlighted that he loves his job. “I will never forget that I sold more than
600 cassettes in one night,” Mermer said, pointing out that he no longer sells
as much as he used to.
Stating that the variety of cassettes has also decreased
since production stopped, Mermer said that there are nearly 20,000 cassettes,
in addition to CDs, in his shop. He also said he will run his business as long
as he lives.
"We are the last cassette sellers. As far as I know,
there are only three cassette sellers left in Konya," he added.