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Selge December 2013 5089.jpg
22-Dec-2013 Dick Osseman

Selge December 2013 5089.jpg

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The small mountain village now settled next to Selge’s ruins is named Altınkaya (= Golden Rock). The inhabitants are Yörük, sedentarized for several generations now. Most of them have abandoned animal breeding, which was their former way of life. The village is poor (as most mountain villages are); nowadays the men stay during the week in the coastal area, where some work can be found (more easily in summer, when the tourist industry is in need of seasonal workers). Women and children stay in the village, taking care of small life stock and vegetable gardens, and producing ‘el işi’ (el = hand / işi = work of) they will try to sell to tourists visiting Selge.

Regarding the ‘Yörük’:
The ‘Yörük’ are a Turkish group of people, some of whom are nomadic, primarily inhabiting the mountains of Anatolia and partly Balkan peninsula. Their name derives from the Turkish verb yürü- (yürümek in infinitive = to walk), with the word yörük (or yürük) designating "those who walk, walkers". Yörüks lived within the Yörük Sanjak (Turkish: Yörük Sancağı) which was not a territorial unit like other sanjaks but a separate organisational unit of the Ottoman Empire. The Yörük of Anatolia are often called by historians and ethnologists by the additional appellative 'Yörük Turcoman' or 'Türkmen'.
In Turkey's general parlance today, the terms ‘Türkmen’ and ‘Yörük’ indicate the gradual degrees of preserved attachment with the former semi-nomadic lifestyle of the populations concerned. Even: ‘Türkmen’ people do not appreciate to be called ‘Yörük’, and vice versa. The ‘Türkmen’ now lead a fully sedentary life, while keeping parts of their heritage through folklore and traditions, in arts like carpet-weaving, with the continued habit of keeping a yayla house for the summers, sometimes in relation to the (Shia) Alevi community, etc. Yörük maintain in general a yet stronger association with (semi-)nomadism, are poorer (mostly) and all of them are Sunni. The remaining transhumant or "true" Yörük of today's Anatolian region traditionally used the camel as means of transportation, but these are almost all replaced by trucks. The Yörüks are divided in a large number of named endogamous patrilineal tribes (aşiret), which are different from the Türkmen’s tribes.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen
Source: Wikipedia & Personal visits to Altınkaya (1992 – 2004) .

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