NOMADS IN ÇANAKKALE (ÇANAKKALE YÖRÜKLERİ) AND THEIR CULTURE

Last week, after our in-service training, I had four days-off and I and my husband decided to spend our days in my hometown. It is a small village called Koyuneviköyü/Sokakağzı in the south of Çanakkale. It is a very small village propably populated with less than a hundred people in its part(Koyunevi)  located at the hillside. Its part (Sokakağzı) located at the seaside is more crowded and its most crowded time is summer when all the hotels are open and the peaceful nature is ready to host its guests.

The part of this village located at the hillside is surrounded by other villages whose culture are different than its. Habitants of most of villages in the south of Çanakkale are known as Yoruk (nomadic) people. My and our villagers’ origin is also yoruk. However, cultures of these neighbour villages are very different. As our and some other villages around are known as “modernized yoruk villages”, others are known as “old-fashioned” ones which protect their cultural values and traditions in spite of all the dangers caused by our modern world.

In that short visit, we had a chance to visit a yoruk village to celebrate a wedding and learn their different traditions. Since we didn’t have enough time to spend there and needed to do a lot of eating (my mom loves having a lot of things to eat for us as if it was why we were there), we could observe and learn about only the last day of their wedding ceremony traditions. Now, I will try to share what I have learned about the final day of their wedding ceremonies when the bride leaves her own home and begin her new life.

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In this picture, I, my mother’s friend in this village called Çamkalabak and her daughter are standing in front of bride’s belongings made by the bride or her family for her new life (çeyiz). These belongings are displayed in front of bride’s family’s house on the day she leaves home for her new home. The clothes on the woman and the girl in the picture are their traditional clothes and it is their everyday clothing. The clothing I have on me is called “üçetek (three skirts-direct turkish translation)” since it has three pieces towards its lower part and the one on me actually belongs to the bride. Gülseren (woman in the picture) told me young women and girls wore clothes belonging to the bride in her wedding ceremony and asked me to wear one.

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The woman standing behind me is my mother and the woman standing opposite is one of my primary school friends. Girls in these villages don’t go to school after secondary school, which is mandatory, and usually get married at an early age. Interestingly, I have learned the bride in that wedding was 19 years old and some of my friends who were 25 were not married yet, which shows the perceptions have been changing there, too.

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While women are dancing in a different area, men are celebrating this event by drinking alcohol (not all the time and not everyone) and dancing by Turkish drums and clarinet.Image

In this last picture, you see the bride and the groom standing together. You must have realized that they are not smiling. I don’t know why the groom isn’t smiling but I have learned the bride is supposed not to smile throughout the day. If she smiled, she was thougth she had gone mad.

The reason they have gold and money on their clothes is because these are presents given to them but need to be returned when the people who give these presents have their wedding. It is a way of supporting each other when it is needed in this society.

Being able to see how our ancestors lived like and celebrated events still in our time has been a great experience for me.

I thank my dear husband for taking these great pictures.

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Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology

"Wars and Guns"

On a sunny Sunday morning, after a great breakfast at home and some time spent doing nothing, me and my husband finally could put on some nice outside clothes and leave home with a plan to visit “Van Gogh Alive” at Tophane. However, we found ourselves on the ferry going to Eminönü . We did something unusual for us and headed for Eminönü AliUsta Çiğköftecisi, which is a nasty(really, it doesn’t look very nice) small place where you can eat great, delicious, double filled çiğköftes, without thinking on it much.

After I ate half of my food and my husband ate the rest one and a half, we wanted to spend some time to relax at Gülhane Park. Unfortunately, I was almost depressed when I saw how crowded it was; almost impossible to sit under a tree, watch the beautiful tulips and forget our busy lives for a moment; till the moment we unexpectedly decided to “have a look” into Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology . As we entered the museum with little expectation of finding anything interesting, it turned out to be a great journey through time and history. We could observe the improvements made on lots of areas from astronomy to watches (about 10 parts; maths, physics, medicine etc.) and could see lots of miniatures of the interesting inventions. Even though I am not much capable of understanding a lot about science, I admired people who sacrificed their lives to contribute to the world on their own way.

I strongly suggest you to visit this great museum. However, pay attention to begin your tour at least 2 hours earlier than its closing hour, since it takes longer than you expect to visit every part of it.