The Taurus Mountains and the Kaz Mountains

The Taurus Mountains in the Mediterranean Region and the Kaz Mountains in the North Aegean have housed nomadic Yuruks and Turkmens for centuries. These groups, some of which adopted a sedentary life towards the midst of the twentieth century, have succeeded in preserving their lifestyles. The traditional festivals and celebrations on the mountain pastures receive great attention in summer. The Kaz Mountains house the beliefs containing the traces of the cults of mountain, tree, and hearth as well as the ttirbe (tomb) of “Sarikiz”—who is considered a saint.

The traditional ceremonies maintained for 600 years by the Turkmen and Yuruk villagers who come to the vicinity of Karata^tepe and pitch tents between the 15th and 25th of August every year are quite unique. The entirely Yuruk settlements (e.g. Gokbtik, Seki, Arif, Tekke, Gombe, Girdev, ^ukurbag, and Uparsu) located in the Taurus Mountains of Antalya Province, not far from the resort settlements of Ka§, Finike, and Kalkan, offer unique examples of the traditional life in a special ecological environment. A large number of European and US citizens have settled down in this environment in the recent years (Uslu 2010). A number of traditional mountain pasture festivals also attract numerous tourists interested in nature and cultural tourism.

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