Ismail Aktekin is a simple farmer in Turkey's Konya province. But history may also remember him as a local Henry Ford. More than 40 years ago Aktekin started a cottage industry that built crude vehicles for his fellow farmers. These days Aktekin's grandson, also named Ismail, runs the business and says his shop produces about three of the vehicles per month. He estimated that some three-quarters of the local farmers own one. Demand these days is so great that several shops across several provinces are working full-tilt. Hundreds of the vehicles are produced every year in these small shops, most of them the size of a garage, usually located in villages. According to some estimates, there are roughly 250 people involved in their production and the sales are mainly in Turkey, although one farmer mentioned exports as far as Afghanistan.
- Published in Technology