One of the most important religious symbols in Turkey is the tesbih, or prayer beads. They have an important place in the nation’s culture and history; carrying them is second nature. Erdem Bozkurt embraces this tradition and has risen to the status of the most highly regarded rosary master in Turkey and Europe.
Erdem was born in Ankara, Turkey, on May 24, 1982. He was an apprentice to his father, also a lauded tesbih artisan. Erdem has held the rank of a master for 30 years now, selling his famous beads all over the world. He takes pride in using the finest materials to make his beads, the varieties reflecting his emotions at that moment. This ties in with the tesbih being indicative of the personality traits of their owners.
These beads are deceptively simple, as the artisan must consider not only the material, number, size, and texture of the beads, but also the color consistency and the sounds the tesbih will make. These strands are not jewelry, they are a deeply-personal symbol of faith. They have also become conversation pieces, meditation aids, and anxiety relief. Knowing this, it is no surprise that the simplest tesbihs are among the most precious.
In Turkish culture, the maker of the tesbih is as important as the beads themselves. Being named a rosary master is a great honor, and this honor has been bestowed upon Erdem. Married with a child, his family has inspired him to further elevate his beautiful work. His love of the outdoors leads him to use only high-quality, natural materials for his tesbih such as semi-precious stones like amber.
You don’t have to travel to Turkey to get one of these prized rosaries as Erdem has been selling them online for 9 years now. With his business driven by social media, this master craftsman received frequent requests for interviews to discuss his work and his e-commerce business. Erdem has also been an inspiration for others to begin their own online accessory companies.
Being a master for almost a lifetime, Erdem has earned this high rank with exquisite craftsmanship and traditional training. Thanks to e-commerce, he can introduce his tesbih to international customers who seek out his work. This makes Erdem a true game changer as his business is based on the old ways meeting the new. Not to mention, he can share a piece of his culture with every tesbih he creates.