GEOGRAPHY OF A HIDDEN CULTURAL HERITAGE: CAMEL WRESTLES IN WESTERN ANATOLIA SAKLI KALMI KÜLTÜREL BR MRASIN CORAFYASI: BATI ANADOLU?DA DEVE GÜRELER

Abstract

Author(s): Vedat ÇALIKAN

The study deals with camel wrestles observed in Turkey and the distribution of which is limited only to Western Anatolia. Held in winter in about fifty settlements surrounding the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, camel wrestling organizations are still important social entertainments largely of the rural society. The distribution of camel wrestling organizations in Anatolia, the choices of location for wrestles and the factors affecting these phenomena were described with the study. Furthermore, the economic and cultural functions of camel wrestles are evaluated. According to the findings based on researches and examinations in fifteen settlements pertaining to camel wrestles, the presence of economic and cultural relations and interaction have been detected in a region with specific boundaries. In this environment, which may be called ‘the Cultural Region of Camel Wrestles’, wrestling events provide new opportunities as a cultural value also in terms of tourism. This part of Anatolia displays a characteristic feature with its cultural and economic compounds based on camel wrestles.

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