Musa Dagdeviren

Here is a photo of me in my library. My favourite book is ‘Karagoz Mutfakta’, it’s a very old and anonymous cook book which very few people have heard of and it focuses on traditional Turkish and Ottoman recipes and food history. It was first published back in 1913.

I liked it so much, in 2010, our own publisher ‘Ciya Yayınevi’ republished it.

This inspirational quote is one of my favourites from the book. I’ve include it both in Turkish and English.

“Çorbayı üfleyerek içmeyiniz; nefesinizle karbondioksit üflediğinizde, çorbanın şifası kaçar”

“Don’t breathe out soup while you’re still drinking it, you will have carbon dioxide in your lungs and your breath will kill the cure in it”

Musa Dagdeviren

Musa Dagdeviren was born in Nizip, Gaziantep in 1960. In 1969, he graduated from Nizip Istiklal Primary School. He started working in his uncles bakery when he was 5 years old (1965-1977). While he was growing up he held various jobs until he opened a restaurant with his two friends in Gaziantep. In 1977, he moved to Istanbul where he started to work with his uncle as a cook responsible for the Wood burning oven; learned making “kebab” and also appetizers in Istanbul and Gaziantep styles; developed his experiences on “kebab and pide” (1977-1981). In 1981 he left his uncle and apprenticed further with a cook nicknamed Tomato Memed from Ankara. He aquired valuable knowledge for his trade in preparing soups and had long discussions with him relating to food.

While doing his military service he served as a cook and sergeant responsible for the kitchen of the Officer’s Club near Canakkale (1983-1984). Afterwards he returned to Istanbul and worked as the master cook of kebab and appetizers in a few restaurants and also worked in a bakery. (1984-1986).

In 1987 he opened Ciya/Kebap-Lahmacun with the three friends. The same year he became the only owner of the restaurant. In 1990 Zeynep Caliskan, who would be his wife later, joined the Ciya family. Mr Dagdeviren’s experiences and his further researches enriched the kebab menu containing a list of 100 items. He also tried the first vegetarian lahmacun and kebab. In 1998 he opened ‘Ciya Sofra’. He created a unique menu with the local food, deserts and drinks of a vast area. In 2001 he started another kebab restaurant, Ciya Kebap II.

Ciya Restaurant Website: