26 October 2013
Doner kebab ‘inventor’ Kadir Nurman dies in Berlin
The Turkish immigrant credited with inventing the doner kebab has died in Berlin aged 80.
Kadir Nurman set up a stall in West Berlin in 1972, selling grilled meat and salad inside a flat bread.
He had noticed the fast pace of city life and thought busy Berliners might like a meal they could carry with them.
While there are other possible “doner inventors,” Mr Nurman’s contribution was recognised by the Association of Turkish Doner Manufacturers in 2011.
The combination of juicy meat, sliced from a rotating skewer, with all the trimmings and optional chilli sauce, has since become a firm fast-food favourite in Germany, and elsewhere.
According to the Berlin-based Association of Turkish Doner Manufacturers in Europe, there are now 16,000 doner outlets in Germany.
More than 1,000 exist in Berlin to tempt peckish late-night revellers on the capital’s streets.
German companies producing the meat and the machinery for grilling supply 80% of the EU market, the BBC’s Steve Evans reports from Berlin.
Mr Nurman, who emigrated to Germany in 1960, did not patent his invention, and thus did not particularly profit from the doner’s subsequent success.
But in a 2011 interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau, he expressed little bitterness.
He was happy that so many Turkish people were able to make a living from doners, he said, and that millions of people ate them.