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Friday, 27 March 2015


Ottoman Obsession

Ottoman Time Warp

Yoruk Time Warp | Turkey | in-depth travel advice from Terra Encounters
Yörük Köyü is a priceless village ten kilometers east of Safranbolu.  Köyü means village.  I would like to say Yörük is magically hidden from the main road but that would be a fairy tale.  What is real is that you travel back in time to a village that is wall-to-wall Ottoman houses in stately decay.  At first you think nothing has changed. Then you notice the satellite dishes.

The name Yörük means “walkers”, which is very appropriates since it was populated by Turkish nomads who migrated west from the Central Asian homeland over centuries. 

Now as we near the end of our trip, it is time to review some of the significant facts about how the Turkey has affected the whole world.

Turkish Impact

Main Street
The Turks were nomadic, warrior tribes that invented pants, which were better suited to a horse riding culture.  They migrated west into Persia and introduced trousers to Persian culture. At the Istanbul Archaeology Museums we saw a freeze with tunic wearing Greeks under Alexander the Great.  At first, the Greeks derided pants worn by the Persians.  After Alexander conquered Persia, he promoted Persian clothes and culture.  New ideas were spread back to the west.  Today, pants have won out!  The Turks score another impact.
The Greek conquest had a long lasting influence on Turkey, providing many of the tourist sights of today -- not to forget the large Greek population until 1923.  The reason for the central role of Turkey is that Istanbul and Ephesus served as the terminus of the Silk Trade Routes.  That was a major impact! 
Not Topkapi Palace

In the Topkapi Palace Paradise post we discovered that the Turks are not from Turkey.  They came from the Central Asia.  The Turks are believed to have originated from the Xiongnu, also known as the "Northern Barbarians" – the bane of the Han Dynasty and cause for the Great Wall! 
Narrow Side Street
Western Turkish is part of the Turkic language group. This includes 110 million people — Azeri, Turkmen, Kazakh, Tartar, and Uzbek — who originated from Central Asia.  Even Japanese and Korean, Finnish and Hungarian are distantly related to the Turkic languages.

Ottoman Ceiling Tile

The Turks migrated west and conquered Anatolia from the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire.  Then they conquered the only part of the empire that was left, Constantinople, in 1453.  Greek and Roman scholars and their books emigrated from the centre of Ancient Greek and Roman learning.  This in turn accelerated the Renaissance in the West.
Dusk in Yörük
After  the   Turks   conquered Constantinople in 1453, their dynasty became known as the Ottomans (Osman in Turkish) and ruled for 624 years.  This huge empire had a profound effect on all their territories from Baghdad to Budapest and from Mecca to Algiers.  However, Ottoman control of the Silk Roads led Europeans to search for new routes to the Far East.  This led to improvements in naval power and navigation, the discovery of America and the path to Asia, not to mention the conquest of most of the world.  Major impact! 
End of Day
There are very few locals today but it is winter and apparently the people work elsewhere and only come here in the summer.   So Yörük is fitting name for a nomadic people that are still "walking around".  In the past, they moved seasonally with their flocks of sheep and goats to take advantage of better pasture.  Today they use trucks to move animals between pastures. 
Next Post: İncekaya High

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