CAMELS IN YURUK MIGRATIONS
YÖRÜK GÖÇLERİNDE DEVE

Author : Ayşegül KOYUNCU OKCA -- Mustafa GENÇ
Number of pages : 225-236

Abstract

When the history of migrations and settlements in Anatolia is examined, it is noticed that the most significant factors that affect the lives of Yuruks who fulfilled a very important role in the formation of Turkish culture are the geographical conditions, geomorphological features and stock farming. Yuruks who earn their living with sheep and goat breeding pursue a life between summer pastures and winter quarters with the purpose of finding more fertile grasslands for their livestock. Therefore, migrations into summer pastures which are the actual places of production and their experiences during the migrations are special for Yuruks. Camels which are an integral part of Yuruk migrations actually carry a great significance for the Yuruk identity. Camels which are recognized as a fundamental means for activities such as transportation and nourishment and camel farming that developed accordingly have changed today due to various reasons. The number of camels has decreased together with motor vehicles that became widespread in transportation and Yuruks being forced into a sedentary life. There is a direct identification with the camels which are strong and reliable animals for Yuruks who has to be strong and reliable in the lives that they pursue. In time, this identification has produced results such as breeding special camels, formation and spread of oral traditions regarding the camels and owning a camel being a prestigious thing. The purpose of this study is to point out the place and significance of camels in the lives of Yuruks, having examined the camels which are positioned in the center of the migrations and lives of Yuruks the number of whom is decreasing every day. It was aimed to document the camels and their significance in Yuruk migrations in order to convey the lives of Yuruks to the next generations. Furthermore, the changes in the practices during the migrations and the causes of these changes were discussed. In order to acquire the information and findings required to conduct this study, interviews on various dates were conducted with Yuruks living in the regions of Mersin, Karaman, Konya, Mugla, Aydın, Antalya, Bursa, Denizli and İzmir which holds the highest concentration of Yuruk populations. Observation, interview and in-field study techniques were used as the required means within the light of our methodological approach. In order to achieve the documentation process, the photographs taken were placed in a way to support the texts.

Keywords

Culture, Yuruk, Plateau, İmmigration, Camel

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