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Turkey’s last nomads roam Anatolia

GULNAR, Turkey (Reuters) – When summer time involves southern Turkey, the goats grow to be stressed and the Gobut household is aware of it’s time to pack their tents and embark on the lengthy trek north with their herd of 1,000 animals.

Muhammet and his nephew Efe Gobut sleep inside their tent close to Konya, Turkey, May 21, 2018. Every yr, nomads begin strolling from Mersin on the Mediterranean coast with greater than a thousand goats, travelling to the central Anatolian province of Konya. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

The household is a part of the nomadic Yoruk tribe which for greater than a millennium has crisscrossed Anatolia, a area that features a lot of Turkey. Half a century in the past, 1,000 households roamed the Anatolian steppe however now there are simply 86.

That drop mirrors a decline within the variety of nomadic tribes worldwide over the previous century resulting from industrialization and agricultural growth.

The Gobuts are a household of eight unfold over three generations. They spend six months a yr on the street and reside in tents fabricated from goat fur.

They depart the southern province of Mersin in late April annually and arrive 600-km (372 mile) north within the central province of Konya in July, solely to start out the return journey a couple of days later.

Kezban Gobut cooks a meal at their tent close to Konya, Turkey, May 24, 2018. Every yr, nomads begin strolling from Mersin on the Mediterranean coast with greater than a thousand goats, travelling to the central Anatolian province of Konya. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

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On the way in which, they pitch tents every evening and whereas away the evenings beside a campfire constructed proper inside their tents as their goat herd graze close by.

One member of the family sleeps outdoors with the herd and 4 shepherd canines to protect in opposition to wolves that the household calls monsters.

The household makes its dwelling from the goats. They make cheese from the milk, use fur to make tents and earn cash by promoting a few third of their goats en route.

Each goat has a reputation and is handled as a part of the household. The smaller ones are transported on a pick-up truck.

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“We never call them ‘animals’, we call them ‘companions’,” mentioned Pervin Savran of the Sarikecililer Cooperation and Collaboration Foundation, which represents the Yoruks.

“Everything we do – eating, sleeping, waking – depends on our companions. Such is our bond,” Savran mentioned. Staple meals additionally contains tomatoes and ‘bazlama’, a flatbread comprised of freshly floor flour purchased on the street.

The Gobuts have cell phones however for information they take heed to the radio for 15 minutes every night. One son, Yunus, is given depart to overlook major college after April to go on the trek.

His sister-in-law Rukiye gave delivery to her first son in April and some days later was out shepherding the goats along with her son in her arms.

Gulay, the household’s solely daughter, studied medical provide advertising at a university within the mid-western province of Bilecik. She rejoined her household as a result of she couldn’t discover work, however mentioned she misses the settled life-style.

“I had a social life in college … (and) I could go to the hospital whenever I needed to”, she mentioned. “But none of these exist in the nomadic life. We are alone with nature.”

More Yoruk households select to depart their nomadic life behind as water turns into scarce and farmers and villagers grow to be extra hostile. Sometimes they even take goats hostage when the Yoruks enter their land.

“There are days when we have to migrate quickly at night on asphalt for hours while the main roads are still empty,” Savran mentioned.

Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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