If you are in retail, how far do you go to secure customer satisfaction? Where is the limit?

Chez Bircan cappadocia pottery

Hasan Bircan, a master potter in Avanos, Cappadocia, seems to have no clue what the limit is, but he is a pro at guaranteeing customer satisfaction for those interested in Cappadocia Pottery.

Let me explain…One day a customer strolled into Chez Bircan, Hasan’s pottery shop, and inquired about a piece of pottery. When asked how much it was, Hasan told them that the price was 15 liras, to which the customer exclaimed, “That is so expensive. How about 10 liras?” Hasan replied, “Well, 10 liras is almost like giving it to you for free.” The customer looked at him and decided, “OK, I’ll take it for free.” Hasan wrapped up the pot with bubble wrap, fastened it with packing tape, gave it to her, and the satisfied customer walked off with a free pot!

Customer satisfaction to the extreme!

Hasan bircan cappadocia pottery

Hasan Bircan has been faithfully serving tourists from all over the world for almost 30 years with great pottery demonstrations and unique forms.

Beginning as a junior high student Hasan would run after school with his buddies to the main pottery shop in Avanos, Chez Galip, and shine the newly thrown pots by rubbing them down with a metal tool before they were to be put in the kilns. He had grown up around pottery as both grandfathers were master potters, as well as his own father.

Pottery became the medium through which he would connect with his friends, talk about life, reflect on the history which this profession was to his family, and dream dreams of a future for himself.

He told me stories of his father loading up donkeys with pottery and traveling 100 – 150 km on two week trips in order to sell or trade his pottery for other goods, which he would bring back to the village of Avanos and sell.

“At that time pottery was solely made for personal use. For food items which needed refrigeration they would store them in large pots buried in the ground.” said Mr Bircan, as he recounted the tales of his father and the other potters of Avanos who would supply these containers for those living in the Cappadocia region, and beyond.

If you visit Avanos, you will quickly notice that the art and industry of pottery has changed. Today, the shops of Avanos are filled with beautiful and unique souvenirs: usable art with a Cappadocian splash.

One of the popular pieces is the Hittite Ring Jug, a hollow, vertically set ring used for the purpose of transporting and serving liquid substances (water, wine), with an attached base, a side handle and a spout at the top. The Hittites were an ancient civilization (1800 – 1200 BC) that had been mentioned several times in the Jewish Scriptures but had not been discovered archeologically until the mid 1800s. Their capital (Hattusa) was down the road from Avanos, near Kayseri. Four hours to the northwest, in the capital of Turkey, Ankara, you can enjoy the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which contains the largest amount of Hittite artifacts in the world.


Take the time to watch this fascinating video of Hasan throwing a smaller version of the Hittite Ring Jug.

Hittite win jug cappdocia pottery
Mr Bircan began throwing pots himself and in 1983, as a 17 year old, he opened his shop on the Kayıkçı Sokağı in Avanos. Not only has Hasan thrown thousands of Hittite jugs and other pieces, but he has also become known as the foremost potter of miniature pots in Avanos.

So as you are strolling the streets of Avanos, you will be greatly “satisfied” when you stop in at Chez Bircan, on the corner of the Old Town center and Kayıkçı Sokağı, for a free demonstration, tea and a chance at throwing your own pot! He is there everyday of the week, including weekends, waiting to captivate curious customers with his hospitality and masterful display of what human hands can do with a lump of clay!

Chez Bircan

And here is a bonus video at no extra charge. It will be worth one minute of your time to watch Hasan throw a miniature vase.

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Aaron Moss has owned an exporting business, shipping pottery and rugs to America, and has been an outspoken advocate for bringing tour groups from North America over to Cappadocia for the past several years. Through his contribution to CaptivatingCappadocia.com he hopes that more people will come and visit the incredible land he has called “home” for the past 8 years. He and his wife have 6 children, and he has yet to meet anyone who hasn’t thoroughly enjoyed their stay in Cappadocia. Click here to read more about Aaron.