Turkish can maker publishes new book

Evert van de Weg guest blogs about a new book on can making

Last April, Mr Ercan Öner, founder of the Turkish can maker Öntas in Izmir, published his book “From Master to Apprentice”. The book covers the history of can making in Turkey and is designed to act as a guide for newcomers in the can making business.

Ercan Öner: “When I started in 1971 after my study at the Technical University in Ankara as a young mechanical engineer in the company Botaş in Izmir, one of the medium-size Turkish can makers, I was not able to find any book that introduced me into this new world. Fortunately, I was trained at a Danish can maker, which helped me a lot. In my initial years in the can making business I felt really handicapped by the lack of adequate written documents, so I said to myself that I would fill that gap. In this book I described many aspects of three-piece can making technology. I distributed the book to roughly all the can makers and some main universities in Turkey.”

In 1989, Ercan Öner founded, together with his brother Erhan, his own can making company – Öntas – and managed this company for 23 years as chairman and general manager. Öntas became an important can maker in Turkey with a very solid reputation for quality and reliability. In 2010, his son Amaç Öner succeeded him as general manager and Ercan Öner continued to lead Öntas as chairman. In 2012, Silgan took over Öntas and Ercan Öner retired.

After his retirement, Ercan decided to write a book that would cover the complete history of can making in Turkey. “I got in contact with the oldest and most senior people in the industry to interview them. On my request, they put their memories about their experiences in can making on paper and sent these to me, together with documents and photos. I studied all kinds of sources, archives dating from the Ottoman empire, old newspapers, books published by the Turkish Industry Chambers, I bought books on auctions. It was of course quite a task to sort from the huge amount of material that I collected the most interesting elements and to compose my book. I am happy I did this job in order to document correctly the history of the can making world in which I was working with pleasure for such a long time.”

The bulky book contains more than 400 pages and is written in Turkish under the title of ‘Ustadan Çiraġa Bir Gelenek’, meaning ‘From Master to Apprentice.’

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