Mehmet Güler or "Blaster Mehmet" as he calls himself on social media, is among few demolition experts in Turkey who has expanded his business abroad. Having worked on countless infrastructure projects in Turkey, Güler seeks international recognition with his future "blasts." In September, Güler and his team are set to blow up a giant silo in Jordan "to break his record" in the field.
The Turkish man worked his way up in the sector after he became a certified "firing expert" as the profession was called back then in Turkey, in 1974. His company based in the western city of Izmir was recruited for major projects, from natural gas pipelines to making way for Osmangazi, the world's fourth longest suspension bridge in northwestern Turkey. Güler claims the record for longest demolition work in 2012 in Turkey, for blowing up a 1,800-meter long pipeline in the central province of Konya. For Osmangazi bridge, his team dived down a depth of 26 meters to plant explosives and open a hole for the installation of the foundation for the bridge's ground section.
Nowadays, Güler and his team of demolition experts prepare for the demolition of a 100-meter wide, 55-meter high silo in Jordan's Aqaba where a shopping mall will be built instead of the old silo. The job offer came after Güler pulled off a tough task of demolishing six silos simultaneously in northern Iraq's Suleimaniyah last year, using 5,450 dynamites. His company is the "only one in the world" to offer a glitch-free demolition, Güler says, noting blasting silos is the biggest challenge for demolition experts. The demolition of these tall structures may go wrong if experts fail to determine the proper places to plant explosives, as an incident in Denmark earlier this year showed, when a 53-meter silo fell the wrong way and damaged a nearby building.
In Jordan, Turkish demolition experts will tie 6,400 sticks of dynamite together and hope to make all of them explode. "If one fails to go off, it is a big problem," Güler, whose team started preparations about six months ago for the Jordan job, says.
Not one to blow a chance when it comes to expanding his demolition business, he says his next goal is demolishing steel structures. "Few companies in the world do it and there are no explosives available to carry out the task. We demolished many structures without a problem and now await offers to blow up a steel structure," he says.