Onan, the properous, owner of the thriving Cagaloglu Hamam in Istanbul, was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He had worked from the bottom up, as brick layer to factory hand to supervisor to manager.
Father was a sheep herder of the plains of Anatolia and Onan and was born to a family of ten boys. Being the youngest, he not only gained hand-me-downs, but was never short of male role models. His second brother instilled in him this proverb, a generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
He found truth in this. His timely meeting with a hamam tile manufacturer, who took an immediate liking to him, paved his path into the hamam industry which was booming at the time. He was offered a position to run a hamam in Bursa.
He learnt the ropes quickly, saved every lire he earned, and taking the lead from his mentor, invested wisely. Within five years he had sourced a property at Sultanahmet Square, ten minutes from the Blue Mosque. It was in need of major repairs but once operational it would be a gold mine. His investment panned out.
He married the sister of his ninth brothers' wife and now had a son. She had said yes as soon as she set eyes on him. "You know why I agreed to marry you?" she teased him one night. "It's those large flapping ear lobes of yours." Mother had told her that the prosperity of a man is reflected in his ear lobes. "Make sure you marry a man with big ones!"
Onan, loved women who paid attention to him. Melis was all honey-tongued and close at hand. "A man is a man; I give generously and it is a pleasure to receive in return" he rationalised.