An eight floor apartment at the beginning of Ortaklar Caddesi in Mecidiyeköy. When I arrived to 7th floor, I faced with a beautiful woman with blue eyes, blonde, smart clothed and eyes with expressions... I phoned her a few days ago for having a talk. When she invited me to her flat in Mecidiyeköy used as a museum, I cannot believe it but I was really ashamed then. I am the one bragging that I know the Anatolian geography and I know it by living, but I am unaware of the museum two streets away from my business, just right in front of my eyes. I am really ashamed.
Each title of Mrs. Sabiha is a story, a novel, a movie, a documentary to be long told... Some of us would remember her from the allowances that are taken from fathers, some of them from “toss-up” bets.
Because Tansuğ is the “Bride from Ankara” traditional wedding theme, at the back of 50 kuruş coin that left a mark in 70s... Today Tansuğ is still beautiful with her blonde hair, blue eyes... I would like to mention about Mrs. Sabiha, her heart that she devoted for this country and cultural journey with small titles.
In 1940s, she is a line of a family, who left the land for good in which she was born, with a few pieces of stuff on a carriage, early in the morning from Komotini of western Thrace, it is unknown whether it is the water of Balkans or not! Mrs. Sabiha another blonde with blue eyes... It is impossible to interrupt the words and her nice talk of a neat lady from palace with her perfect Turkish and fluent speaking... Therefore I wanted to begin with single long sentence;
You have interest in the regional cloths, collectionist, art lessons from Nuri İyem and many titles, would you please continue with your epic telling, without me interrupting!
We were living in the mansion of grandfather Recep Aga with uncles, sister in laws, aunts... That mansion was located in a garden in which numerous fruit and various flowers were blloming. My father was coming from a civil servant family; my mother is a daughter of trader Aga. They are both trained in Ottoman. My father was educated in Uskudar Madrasa. In the time English occupied Istanbul, she returned to the wester Thrace upon the break out of typhoid epidemic. After the Alphabet revolution, she has learnt Turkish from the alphabet cardboards that come from Turkey. My mother and father are intellectual people, promptly they teamed up a group; and became voluntary trainers in towns and villages. My father then became a village teacher.
We have left Komotini in the beginning of 1940s. It was really affected me that I was leaving our garden, street my apricot tree that I built home on one of its branch, singed a song on it. I clearly remember that I placed seeds in a bag I sew while going for migration journey at my childhood ages.
At the end of the journey, we have arrived to the shores of Maritza. In the carriages of others, who were accompanying us, they had chickens even dogs among other stuff. They carried all of us to the opposite shore with the help of a Turkish soldier in one of the Turkish boats that come from the opposite shore of the Maritza. Our first stop was Manisa. Then we lived in many places around İzmir. I started my education in İzmir. Then I continued to Institute. My brother started his education in the free boarding school in Manisa. We were maintaining our lives in tough conditions. Then, I started continuing my education in Göztepe girls’ institute. When in holidays, I worked in figs and tobacco stores. After these works, that never made me happy, I started sewing baby clothes for the stores in Kemeraltı.
My brother was invited to the Fine Arts Academy in 1951, but when acquaintance said “pick a job that you can earn money, you will starve”, next year he started in Faculty of Pharmacy. This time, we had migrated to Istanbul. A house in Fatih is rented and we started living together. We were visiting the museums and mosques of Istanbul when we had a chance.
My first meeting with the regional clothes: In first grade of primary schools, my mother had me wear “eğribaş” in 23 April. (Eğribaş is a hood that women wear regional for Maritza) This became the foundation of my interest, love and curiosity in regional cloths. I was one of the most beautiful dressing girls in Göztepe girl Art Institute. I was sewing and selling hats. I was sewing dresses for the stone puppets that are sold in Kemeraltı. I was inspired from Anatolian apparels.
My Collection Adventure : I married journalist Haluk Tansuğ in 1965. In one of our holidays, while going to Bodrum, our bus has failed in Maritza. While waiting it to be repaired, I walked around. I saw the eğribaş that I wore and never forgot in first grade. I was amazed. I bought it for 35 Lira. I remembered the hoods that I saw in different regions, I said “Why don’t I collect them?”. And there it is, I devoted my whole life.
By the way I had Art courses from Nuri İyem in the Recreation organization in Istanbul founded by sculpture Lerzan Bengisu. They were the years I was getting comfortable economically... because; I was working with the Lütfiye Arıbal who was a famous tailor in Beyoğlu. Then I started sewing for the elite families in Caddebostan. As my husband involved in trade, we purchased our first car and went abroad. Vienna; palaces, museums, cafeterias... then visiting Paris, costume museums, Musee de l’homme, Louvre after that seeing British museum in London, village museum which is founded in Romania in Kingdom age, open air village museum in Hungary have incredibly impressed me...