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The History of Traditional ”YEMENİ” Leather Shoe-Making

The yemeni is a traditional heel-less shoe with a strong leather sole, and an upper made from red or black leather. In the past, many people in the Southeast Anatolia region wore these shoes, and so they were produced in the area as the local shoe. Today the yemeni craftsmen of Gaziantep and Kilis are reviving their trade.


The yemeni craftsmen are known as köşger and the merchants as kavaf . The word kösger comes from the Farsi word
“keşfger” meaning shoemaker.
Yemeni shoemaking has a history of 600-700 years, and it is believed to have come to our region originally from Yemen, via Aleppo, as is suggested in its name.

The contents of this publication, which has been funded through the 2010 Economic Development Financial Support Programme of the Silk Road Development Agency, does not represent the views of the Silk Road Development Agency and/or the Ministry of Development. The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce is the sole bearer of responsibility for the contents.