The objective of the project “Bir Usta Bin Usta" (One Master, Thousand Masters) is to focus the public attention on vanishing crafts and local values, to revive these crafts, and to be instrumental in letting professional craftsmen and artisans pass on their experiences to the future.

Aspiring to crown its 85th anniversary with an extensive project in 2010, Anadolu Sigorta designed a social responsibility project aligned with the corporate strategy and the expectations of the target audiences. The project was named “Bir Usta Bin Usta" (One Master, Thousand Masters), perfectly corresponding to its scope and content.

The objective of the project “Bir Usta Bin Usta" (One Master, Thousand Masters) is to focus the public attention on vanishing crafts and local values, to revive these crafts, and to be instrumental in letting professional craftsmen and artisans pass on their experiences to the future.

The project is conducted under the technical advisory of the Ministry of Culture, Research and Training Directorate. During the course of the project, the Ministry of Culture proposes cities and city-specific crafts that are about to vanish, identifies the NGOs, and guides Provincial Directorates of Culture.

Under the project, five cities and callings are selected from among those proposed by the Ministry of Culture every year, and 15 to 20 trainees receive training for each vocation. The company aims to extend support to 50 vocations and a total of 1,000 masters-to-be over the course of 10 years.

The project “Bir Usta Bin Usta" made its debut with a press conference held on 10 June 2010. The project's scope for its initial year covered five provisions and five crafts which were Karagöz (Turkish shadow play) Figuration of Bursa, Meerschaum Carving of Eskişehir, Edirnekâri Art (traditional painting and varnishing of wood or leather) of Edirne, Kutnu (traditional silk-based cloth) Weaving of Gaziantep, and Kazaziye (traditional jewelry made with threads of gold or silver) of Trabzon. Starting with these five provinces, participants began receiving basic training about the relevant craft in courses organized by civil society organizations designated by the Ministry of Culture.

In 2011 that marked the second year of the initiative, the scope of the project was defined as Kargı Cloth Weaving of Çorum, Silk Weaving of Hatay, Stone Working of Mardin, Bone Combs of Sivas and Savatlı Silver Work of Van.

Under the project, İZ TV, a national documentary channel, is producing the documentary films of the crafts addressed by the project, as well as a photographic album of the courses.

In 2011, Anadolu Sigorta carried out a special initiative with İşbank concerning microloans. In this context, İşbank offers microloans designed with special terms to “Bir Usta Bin Usta" trainees. Accordingly, “Bir Usta, Bin Usta" (One Master, Thousand Masters) trainees, who have acquired the necessary technical know-how during the training, are able to utilize the loan entailing special conditions designed by İşbank, by presenting the participation certificates given at the end of the training. In this way, Anadolu Sigorta lends support not only to vocational training, but also to efforts aimed at helping the crafts survive.

In addition, a commercial film was also developed in 2011 to help publicize the project, which represented a significant step towards conveying the initiative to broad audiences.

Within the frame of the project Bir Usta Bin Usta, third year courses were organized in Mother of Pearl Inlaying in Ankara, Rug and Carpetbag Weaving in Kars, Glassblowing in Muğla, Earthenware Pottery in Nevşehir and Woodblock Printing (on cotton or silk) in Tokat in 2012, while the fourth year courses included Wood Carving in Kahramanmaraş, Traditional Carpet Weaving of Gördes in Manisa, Needlepoint Art of Namrun in Mersin, Basketry in Rize and Hand Weaving of Karacakılavuz in Tekirdağ in 2013.

In 2014 that marked the fifth year of the project, courses were held in Tile Working in Çanakkale, Oltu Stone Working in Erzurum, Art of Leather-Made Accessories in Isparta, Art of Felt-Made Accessories in İzmir, and Amber Working in Şanlıurfa.

In the sixth year, courses were organized for Local Damal Doll Making in Ardahan, Traditional Accordion Boot Making in Aydın, Traditional Silver Threading in Bartın, Puppet Making in İstanbul, and Wooden Walking Cane Making of Devrek in Zonguldak.

The courses offered under the project “Bir Usta Bin Usta" in 2016 included Wood Carving in Adana, Hot Glass-making in İstanbul, Felt-Making in Konya, Kamancheh Making in Trabzon, and Weaving in Poyralı Village in Kırklareli.

Under the project, informative trips are being organized for media members since 2010. Media trips to selected provinces covered the courses offered in Edirne in 2010, Mardin in 2011, Nevşehir in 2012, Rize in 2013, Şanlıurfa in 2014, Bartın in 2015, and Adana in 2016.

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