MEN COIFFEUR ORHAN BY CHRISTINE BALTSEN, ANNE HARTMANN BIERRE AND KAJSA ENGLESSON
It’s 11 AM saturday morning in the Tophane area in Istanbul, and the salon “Men Coiffeur Orhan” is emty and without customers. The only two persons in the street is Orhan Gyner himself and his friend Yusel, who owns the cafeteria next door, which is empty as well. A heavy smell of smoke from cigarets mixed with sweet and perfumed reek from the synthetics styling products is stoked in the air in Orhans salon, but it’s not far from the tyrkish lifestyle in general. As well as getting a haircut 4 in the morning for only 3 dollars instead of going to an after party. In Istanbul a haircut isn’t just about getting your hair done. For the local hairdresser there is many different aspects of it. An experience where you are left with the question: Is it a haircut, or is it art?
We’re not in doubt. The man who sits next to us is a very proud and visionary hairdresser. His salon exudes of the 41 years of experience in the industry. “When I was 11 years old I already knew, that my greatest dream was to become the best hairdresser. I started as an apprentice in my hometown Adna in the south of Turkey. 4 years later I moved to Istanbul and I have now been working here as a hairdresser ever since” Yusel tells us, that now Orhan is famous for being the best in town and he feels like he reached his goals.
Orhan Gyner’s salon looks like nothing else we’ve seen in Istanbul or other places. The deep blue velvet walls and the pink sofa set by the entrence reminds us of a 1980’s soap opera, where women steal each others husbands. “I did the design of the salon myself. I was inspired by all the different places I’ve worked through my career. The blue color on the walls came to me through a dream. It symbolises heaven. My salon is the only one in Istanbul where you see mirrors down to the floor. You will not see that any other places.” Says Orhan Gyner. We asked him why he choosed that kind of mirrors, but he told us it was a secret.
Yusel owns a cafeteria next to Orhan’s salon. We earlier met Yusel over a tea and a talk about his time in Canada as a flight engineer. He agreed to be our entepreter for our interview with Orhan. The two men often meet for lunch and Yusel sometimes borrow Orhans kettle to boil water for his tea. “I’ve only known him for two years, since he opened his salon next door. I don’t like him, but I respect his work and profession. He’s a very talented hairdresser. You know, he has 41 years of experience.” Yusel says about their relationship.
Orhan claimed he could make hangovers go away with his magic hands. So Kajsa got a demonstration of his skills plus a new hairstyle. â€œWhen you leave Orhans salon you are completely relaxed. You are flying high in the sky like a birdâ€?, with these words Kajsa was lured into the chair.