HomeTURKEY TRAVELLERSYoruks, Turkish Nomads and Atatürk

Yoruks, Turkish Nomads and Atatürk

by Levent Ağaoğlu

Anatolia and Rumelia is a geography that overlaps with the lifestyles of the Yoruks. Turkish language, which carries all this life as a treasure, is actually a software language; Let’s see when it will come to life.

The philosophy of the Yoruks, Turkish nomads has not yet been written.

Today, nomads continue their authentic lives in the mountains of eastern Macedonia. Adopting and practicing immigration as a lifestyle, the nomads transformed Rumelia into a Turkish geography as a result of these habits and activities and showed their presence in every part of the geography.

As a result of their combativeness and warlike character, Rumelia-Balkans have existed as a Turkish geography for centuries. The main thing for the nomads is nature, people, living things in nature. Their character, which does not distinguish between people, is the main reason why Turks live in Rumelia in harmony with different nationalities.

There is no ideological spectacle in the view of the nomads, they look at them as human beings, as creatures. There is a parallelism between the mountains of the Taurus Mountains and the steep mountains of the Balkans, and this parallelism is the main reason why the Yoruks lead a comfortable life in both geographies.

They lead a life in harmony with nature. The customs and traditions brought by thousands of kilometers from the depths of Inner Asia, by opening them for generations, came to life together in the geography of Anatolia and Rumelia, and preserved their vitality.

The nomads departed from the Caspian Sea, Iran to Iskenderun, and came to Anatolia. They live in Iskenderun, in the Taurus Mountains. The first place where the Kayı tribe came from is Bilecik and Balıkesir, and they spread to Central Anatolia and Marmara. They settled down in Bilecik. Goat and sheep are indispensable animals as it is easier to bring them as a flock during migration.

Turkmen and Yoruk are brothers. If the Turkmen cut down trees, the Yörük must have transported them with oxen. Now Turkmen cuts it, Yoruk carries it by truck. The nomad immediately declares the place where he settled as his homeland and embraces it. He defends his animal and property at the cost of his life. He shares his bread and gives a place to those who want a place. It has survived in this difficult geography.

He took advantage of every part of the animal. He made shoes from horse skin. Since nomads take care of sheep and goats, moist plains are not suitable for this life. The nomads weave sacks and rugs from the hair of goats to put the wheat. It would be more robust and long lasting. They make medicine for themselves and their animals by boiling the gum of the pine tree. They make mattresses, pillows and knives from sheep’s wool.

Photographs by Professor Nevzat Çevik of Akdeniz University, Antalya

Nomad Ataturk

Atatürk is a person who grew up in the Yörük region of Rumelia. Nomads settled throughout Rumelia. Nomads are settled in the steep mountains, hills and plains. In particular, Greece and Bulgaria are the geography where the Yoruks were completely settled by the Ottomans.

The culture that developed as a result of these settlements and settlements is the nomadic culture settled in cultural cities such as Skopje, Thessaloniki, Plovdiv, villages, plains and mountains.

The reason why the Ottomans preferred this is that the nomads had a very high adaptability to the geographies and they were combative people. Atatürk’s grandfathers and ancestors were active in this way in the geography of Rumelia, sometimes they settled in Skopje, sometimes in Thessaloniki. Both cities are towns where the Yörük culture is dominant.

It is this Yörük culture that has deep ties on the basis of the developed Turkish culture, which is settled in Skopje, Plovdiv and Prizren in the cultural centers of the Balkans, and the Turkish language has also gained a highly developed and advanced dimension in these centers.

In terms of culture and art, these cultural centers are highly developed. As a Yörük descended from ancestors, Atatürk has a movement and spirit structure shaped in this geography, and he has shown and revealed these features in any case.

Nomadism is the basis of the nomads. It is an enriching act. When we look at Atatürk, it is basically a trend from Anatolia to Rumelia, a movement in Rumelia after nomadism, arrival in Kocacık, going from Kocacık to Skopje, Thessaloniki, and after Thessaloniki to Tripoli due to his military life. .

Prof. Hikmet Özdemir’s book “Atatürk in War and Peace” contains a map of the places Atatürk went. Tripoli, Damascus, and then Lebanon, Palestine, and of course Austria, Germany. Finally, there is a movement from Istanbul, from Istanbul to Samsun, from there to Erzurum, from Sivas, from there to Kırşehir, from Ankara to Ankara, and then to many domestic trips, telling about revolutions and change, national sovereignty, and always going. At the heart of this, the phenomenon of Yörük, which is the basis of these movements, is also a spirit and a philosophy.



Subscribe For Latest Updates
And get notified every monday at 8:00 am in your mailbox


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular