Erzincan’s heirloom centuries-old watermills



Erzincan's heirloom centuries-old watermills

The water mills in Erzincan’s Kemaliye district, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, have been challenging history for 300 years.

Faruk Sağçolak, who has been grinding wheat for 25 years in a 300-year-old water mill in the Kemaliye district of Erzincan, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, is happy to continue his profession as he learned from his ancestors, despite the developing technology and flour industry.
Faruk Sağçolak, 52, living in Kemaliye, grinds the crops grown by the local people in the mill using traditional methods. Sağçolak, who works to ensure that the wheels do not stop in the nearly 300-year-old mill, draws attention with the flours he grinds from organic wheat. The water mill also attracts the attention of tourists coming to the district.
Miller Sağçolak said that he loves his job and will run the water mill until his last breath. Stating that he aims to train an apprentice to keep the legacy of his grandfather alive after him, Sağçolak said, “We turn the wheat of this region into flour in our water mill, which came from our ancestors and grandfathers and then we continue. We do what we saw from our grandfathers and ancestors.”
Stating that he sends flour to different cities by courier, Sağçolak said: “The products I use in making flour are made entirely of natural wheat, and we prefer untreated local wheat. In addition, we produce various flours such as whole wheat flour, lentil flour and barley flour here. The quality of the flour. “It’s the same when compared to the quality of factory flours. You put the wheat in the hopper right in the middle of the stone and it pours out from here, and it comes out as flour from the bottom. We don’t have to separate the sieving bran. If the wheat is of good quality, the flour will be of good quality.”
Sağçolak stated that it is not an easy task to produce flour in a water mill and explained the working method of the mill as follows: “The water coming from the back makes the wheels rotate. The water turns the system of stones. In the past, this flour was famous in our bakers, they would come and look at the flour. The flour will become ‘ant’ feet’ so that the bread will come out. It should neither be too thin nor too thick.”
Stating that tourists also visit the century-old mill, Sağçolak continued his words as follows: “This mill does not only produce flour. At the same time, tourists visiting this region also visit this place. Tourists who come to visit the last mill of Kemaliye in this region also prefer it. They take it and use it in cakes and pastries in their hometowns.”


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