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Turmoil gives birth to grave maintenance firm

Thursday, August 20, 2009
Being out of job due to the global crisis leads an entrepreneur to launch a different business in the Mediterranean city of Antalya. Having realized that graves are uncared in most of the country, Mehmet Çetin establishes a company that professionally tends the graves

Mehmet Çetin’s company and Antalya Mezar Bakımı Mezar Yapımı provides services at the Andızlı, uncalı, kurşunlu, and Antalya Kent graveyards of Antalya. İHA photo

ANTALYA – Ihlas News Agency
A young entrepreneur in the southern tourism city of Antalya who lost his job due to the effects of the global financial crisis now manages his own grave tending company after seeing his grandfather’s uncared-for grave.
The company had fired Mehmet Çetin due to the crisis. During one unemployed day, Çetin visited his grandfather’s grave. During his visit Çetin realized that the grave was uncared-for, as were the other ones in his city and most of the country. The 29-year-old entrepreneur then planned to establish a company that professionally tends graves.
Çetin now has a company that employs five people, including agricultural engineers. The company reached 100 permanent customers in nine months, Çetin said, adding that he aims to reach 5,000 customers.
Çetin’s company provides services at the Andızlı and Kent graveyards of Antalya. The services that the company offers include cleaning the grave, removing the leaves and dead plants, planting flowers or trees according to the requests of the customers and strengthening the current plants on the grave. The company provides all of these services under the supervision of landscape architects.
Ignoring criticism
Çetin said when he started grave maintenance, people criticized him, claiming that people would not be interested in grave maintenance amid the economic crisis.
“I ignored their words and established the company,” he said. “I started advertising on the Web. People were interested in a short time. People can’t maintain the graves as they work, but they want their esteemed relatives’ graves to be clean. We managed to do what they can’t at a low cost. Before and after the maintenance, we take photos of the graves and show them. When they see how the grave changes they are delighted.”
Çetin also said that upon requests they found some graves that were “lost” to the relatives of the deceased years ago and maintained them.
Noting that there are 50,000 graves in Antalya, he said: “My aim is to reach 5,000 customers. Turks living abroad also showed a great interest in our company. Upon requests from the customers, we also put beautiful flowers on the graves. The most favored flowers are begonias, daffodils, chrysanthemums, roses, ice plants, lilies and carnations.”
Hasan Acar, 26, visiting the graveyard, said he made an agreement with Çetin for maintenance of the tomb of his grandfather who shared the same name as him and had passed away 11 years ago.
Acar said he heard about Çetin’s new firm from one of his friends. “At first I was surprised. I cannot come to visit the tomb of my grandfather as I am too busy. My grandfather’s grave was really neglected. I reached a deal with them to take care of the tomb for 230 Turkish Liras. They planted roses and begonias on the grave.”


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