I Mean It Creative prepared a keyart work to be used in Eyup Sabri Tuncer's 100th anniversary celebration event. This iconic image was also used in all printed and digital materials required for the celebration.

The settlement of the trade tradition in Anatolia seems to have started with the Republic. Under Ata’s leadership, innovations such as encouraging trade, removing taxes from peasants, economic congresses, fairs, and establishing banks and factories naturally laid the foundations of trade. But actually, for us, trade started especially in Istanbul in the last years of the impoverished Ottoman Empire. The decrease in economic purchasing power and the parallel difficulties experienced by well-established and wealthy bourgeois families required them to gradually ‘condescend’ in trade.
The novel ‘Cevdet Bey and His Sons’ describes this process very well. What is actually portrayed is the search for a way out of deep-rooted families based in the aristocracy. As is the case today, the increase in people visiting abroad thanks to young people looking for the future and hope in other countries, as well as the search for opportunities by foreign visitors during the period when the Ottoman Empire was weakening, brought dynamism in the social and commercial arena.
Many immigrants who have an organic trading tradition have created good job opportunities for themselves in different places in Anatolia. Their hard work, bright ideas and enterprising spirits made them feel that they were different from the Anatolian people who dealt with the land. They began to take root and blossom like seeds.

Eyüp Sabri Tuncer is exactly like this. It’s a beautiful story of a family that came from Bosnia, put down roots, and grew, first in Bursa and then in Ankara. You witness generations, family values, and hard work within it. Let the Anatolian people dedicate themselves to the land and work diligently. Those in the process of Westernization and modernization sought answers to their new needs in accordance with ‘Europa-i Tedrisat.’ Eyüp Sabri Tuncer also provided solutions to these quests. One of my favorite stories by Sait Faik, ‘Carnations and Tomato Juice,’ explains these two facets very well. It tells the story of how, while Anatolian people were working tirelessly, young gentlemen could gift carnations to young ladies and enjoy cold tomato juice together.

Eyüp Sabri Tuncer’s success is the tale of being able to anticipate the needs of a modernizing society, producing solutions within the enchanting realm of chemistry, promoting his products through illustrations, wholeheartedly engaging in demonstrations and personal involvement, and, most importantly, doing all of this with innate expertise and enthusiasm for scents.

“I’ve always taken great pleasure in listening to, watching, and reading these life stories, which I consider as Legends of Anatolian Trade. I could mention local literary works like Yaşar Kemal’s ‘İnce Memed’ and Pamuk’s ‘A Strangeness in My Mind.’ In European cinema, Claude Berri’s films ‘Jean de Florette’ and ‘Manon des Sources’ immediately spring to mind. The struggle against the wild landscapes in America, tales of gold and oil rushes, and the development of railways have all inspired magnificent stories across various art forms. Take, for instance, Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘There Will Be Blood.’ I believe that Eyüp Sabri Tuncer’s story is not far from these narratives.

I’m confident that the milestones described in this event, marking its 100th anniversary, can serve as inspiration for a wide range of artistic works, spanning from cinema to literature, offering diverse perspectives and dimensions. We are proud to be part of this.

Emrah Yucel / September 2023 / LOS ANGELES