Bursa-based mechanical engineer İsmail Doyuk has managed to collect all the coins that were produced in the mints located in the Muslim countries all over the world in the past 80 years.
Doyuk, 89, began collecting old coins due to a strange coincidence. During the foundation excavations for the construction of financial offices in Bursa in 1936, the workers found copper coins dating to the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid in a jar. The coins, which seemed worthless back then, were handed to people passing by the construction area. Doyuk kept 10 coins due to his admiration of the Ottoman Empire. When Doyuk was about to leave Bursa for work, he wanted to donate the coins to a museum, but the museum officials said they were worthless and did not accept Doyuk's offer.
In the 1960s, he witnessed jewelry makers in Bursa's Grand Bazaar melting old coins to make silver jewelry, so he decided to buy those coins by offering silver to the shopkeepers. Over time, Doyuk, who is known for his collection of coins, managed to collect dozens of silver coins with different designs belonging to different countries with the help of the jewelers in Bursa.
The collector, who possesses a variety of coins dating to the Umayyad period when the first golden coin produced upon the orders of Mehmed the Conqueror, explained that it was only those sovereigns who ruled over a large region who could produce gold coins. In other words, only empires could mint gold. Doyuk, who purchased a collector's notebook as the Code of Protection of Cultural and Natural Properties, has recorded over 2,000 historical coins in his notebook. As the museum experts know about the magnificence of Doyuk's collection, they consult him when they encounter coins from Muslim countries during excavations. Stating that he learned more about the history of Muslim countries and empires as he collected coins, he explained that he decided to hand his collection over to the Bursa City Museum in 2010, for it to be displayed in a museum, as his grandchildren do not have any children. As the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is not in possession of over 100 types of coins that are in his collection, the unique pieces were transferred to Bursa Turk- Islam Artifacts Museum.
However, Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, which has such a large collection thanks to Doyuk, did not display any of them at the Coin Museum, which opened in Maksem Neighborhood last week. The municipality officials only exhibit photographs of the coins and also did not invite İsmail Doyuk to the opening of the so-called museum. Their behavior is regarded as an impolite by the locals. Doyuk worries about the fate of the other collections in the city. He said that many people collect valuable books, manuscripts, pocket watches and rare artifacts in Bursa, but that they are not treated as they should be by local administrators, as they are not well-informed about these rare pieces. Doyuk, who characterizes the newly-established museums as ‘window dressing' thinks that future generations should be enlightened about history through authenticated artifacts.