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Working Lives Turkey: Butcher

Tamer Abusoglu is the latest in a line of butchers in his family stretching back seven generations.

He specializes in sheep heads, a regional delicacy. But this butcher's soul has another dimension. He is a published poet with 15 volumes of verse to his name.

There is no doubt where his passion lies.

"Poetry has a huge place in my life. I am doing this job together with poetry. Poetry has penetrated into every aspect of my life." he says, placing a sheep's head on a bloodstained block and swinging his meat cleaver at it.

While butchery is his living, writing is his life. His face is also a familiar sight as a picture byline in Gaziantep's city newspaper.

"Of course juggling the two is very, very difficult. Like two personalities, if you like."

Over dinner he says that none of his four sons, the eldest a university student and the youngest just a baby, is likely to continue the family trade, and he and his wife are happy to steer them towards books rather than the butcher's slab.

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