Ankara; History, Dances, and Fauna

“The (over 4,000-year; DB) history of Ankara can be traced back to the Bronze Age Hatti civilization, which was succeeded in the 2nd millennium BC by the Hittites.” Wikipedia.

Hattians-Hittites; 2400 BCE – 1200 BCE

In the ancient world, the first empires were centered on the rivers Nile (Egypt) and the Tigris-Euphrates (Mesopotamia – Assyria, Babylonia). The northern end of this “fertile crescent” was controlled by Hatti & Hittite peoples.

From the Ancient History Encyclopedia https://www.ancient.eu/hatti/ The Hatti were an aboriginal people in central Anatolia (present-day Turkey) who first appeared in the area around the River Kizil Irmak. The prevailing understanding is that they were native to the land although it has been suggested they migrated to the area sometime prior to 2400 BCE. The region was known [by the Assyrians – DB] as `Land of the Hatti’ from c. 2350 BCE until 630 BCE, attesting to the influence of the Hattian culture there. They spoke a language called Hattic and did not seem to have a written language of their own, using cuneiform script for trade dealings. As the region was heavily forested, the Hatti built their homes of wood and made their living through trade of timber, ceramics, and other resources. Their religion focused on the worship of a Mother Goddess who ensured their crops would grow and their livestock remain healthy. They kept domesticated animals and made clothing and blankets from sheep’s wool. As an agrarian society, they also domesticated the fields and planted grains which they primarily lived on but also supplemented their diet through hunting. Since their religion was based on the concept that everything in nature was sacred and possessed a divine spirit, however, it does not seem that hunting for meat was a common practice and may have only been engaged in for specific festivals involving royalty.

“The oldest settlements in and around the city center of Ankara belong to the Hatti civilization which thrived during the Bronze Age.” Wikipedia.

Controlling a significant number of city states and small kingdoms, they had established lucrative trade with the region of Sumer (southern Mesopotamia) by the year 2700 BCE. The historian Erdal Yavuz writes:

Anatolia offered a mild climate with reliable and regular rainfall necessary for a regular agricultural production. Besides the timber and stone essential for construction, but deficient in Mesopotamia, Anatolia had rich mines which provided copper, silver, iron, and gold.

Hattian Ceremonial Standard

Their trade with the cities of Mesopotamia enriched the region and helped to develop their kingdom. The historian Marc Van De Mieroop includes the Hatti among the nations and nation-states in the diplomatic and trade consortium he refers to as The Club of the Great Powers. This `club’, as Van De Mieroop designates it, included Mitanni, Babylonia, Assyria, Hatti, and Egypt, though by the time Kingdom of the Hatti was involved with international relations (c. 1500-1200 BCE), they were governed by the Hittites and had already lost their language and culture…. Van De Mieroop writes: 

…A ruler called Hattusili created the Hittite state in the early or mid-seventeenth century. Heir to the throne of Kussara, he rapidly defeated his competitors in central Anatolia. Among his conquests was the city of Hattusa, located in the center of the region in a strategic and well-protected site thanks to its position on a hilltop. He made Hattusa his capital, and possibly changed his name to coincide with that of the city.

The lands of the Hatti were systematically conquered by the Hittites and the people merged into the culture of their conquerors. The Hittites were known as the Nesili to themselves and their contemporaries and the name `Hittite’ comes from the Hebrew scribes who wrote the biblical narratives of the Old Testament. They may have migrated to the region or, more probably, lived alongside the Hatti for many years before hostilities between the two peoples began. By 1650 BCE, the Hittites, under Hattusili I, defeated the last of the Hatti resistance and rose to complete dominance of the area.

From Wikipedia: “The Hittite language was a distinct member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family, and along with the related Luwian language, is the oldest historically attested Indo-European language,[2]

The expanded Hittite Empire (red) replaces Hatti c. 1290 BC and borders the Egyptian kingdom (green)

…Whoever the Hatti originally were, or where they came from, remains a mystery in the modern day owing to the eventual merging of the two cultures and the lack of anceint records. By the time of Telepinu, the last king of the Hittite Old Kingdom (reigned c. 1525-1500 BCE), the Hatti were presented simply as a troublesome faction of the populace, not as a separate ethnic group. The civilization they founded may have provided the Hittites with an established culture, trade agreements, and agricultural advances, along with religion, but it is equally possible the Hittite culture already had such things in place when they first marched on Hattusa. The actual nature of the relationship between the Hatti and the Hittites remains a mystery in the modern day and waits on the discovery of ancient documentation to be resolved.

Wikipedia says: “It is generally assumed that the Hittites came into Anatolia some time before 2000 BC. While their earlier location is disputed, it has been speculated by scholars for more than a century that the Yamnaya culture of the Pontic–Caspian steppe, in present-day Ukraine, around the Sea of Azov, spoke an early Indo-European language during the third and fourth millennia BC.[18]

Map of early Indo-European-speakers’ migrations from c. 4000 to 1000 BC according to the Kurgan model. The magenta area corresponds to the assumed homeland – Urheimat (Samara culture, Sredny Stog culture). The dark orange area corresponds to the area that may have been settled by Indo-European-speaking peoples up to c. 2500 BC, and the lighter orange area by 1000 BC.
Hittite vase, 17th century BCE

Phrygians and Lydians; 1200 BCE – 546 BCE

It’s probable that the Phrygians, along with the Hittites, are descendants of the Yamnaya Indo-European-speaking tribes that migrated into Anatolia via the Balkans, . Britannica says: “The Phrygians, perhaps of Thracian origin, settled in northwestern Anatolia late in the 2nd millennium [BC]. Upon the disintegration of the Hittite kingdom they moved into the central highlands, founding their capital at Gordium and an important religious centre at “Midas City” (modern Yazılıkaya, Tur.). The site is a tableland 3,000–5,000 feet (900–1,500 m) high, with mountains.

According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia https://www.ancient.eu/phrygia/, Phrygia was the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom (12th-7th century BCE) and, following its demise, the term was then applied to the general geographical area it once covered in the western plateau of Asia Minor. With its capital at Gordium and a culture which curiously mixed Anatolian, Greek, and Near Eastern elements, one of the kingdom’s most famous figures is the legendary King Midas, he who acquired the ability to turn all that he touched to gold, even his food. Following the collapse of the kingdom after attacks by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BCE, the region came under Lydian, Persian, Seleucid, and then Roman control.

“[Ankara] significantly grew in size and importance under the Phrygians starting from around 1000 BC, experiencing a large expansion following the mass migration from Gordion, the capital of Phrygia, after an earthquake which severely damaged that city in antiquity.” according to Wikipedia.

The fertile plain of the western side of Anatolia attracted settlers from an early period, at least the early Bronze Age, and then saw the formation of the Hittite state (1700-1200 BCE). The first Greek reference to Phyrgia appears in the 5th-century BCE Histories of Herodotus (7.73). The Greeks applied the name to the Balkan immigrants who, sometime after the 12th century BCE, relocated to western Anatolia following the fall of the Hittite Empire in that region. The kingdom’s traditional founder and first king was Gordios (aka Gordias). A legendary figure, Gordios is most famous today as the creator of the ‘Gordian Knot’, a fiendishly difficult piece of rope-work the king had used to tether his cart. The story goes that an oracle had foretold that the person who knew how to untie the knot would rule over all of Asia, even the whole world. The cart and the knot were, incredibly, still there at Gordium when Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) arrived a good few centuries later. Alexander was said to have heard the story and, rather unsportingly, sliced the knot open with a single blow of his sword. In other accounts, the young general slipped the pin out of the cart’s yoke pole and slid the knot off that way. Marble from Phrygia would be used in such famous buildings as Trajan’s Forum in Rome & the Library of Celsus at Ephesus

The neighbouring states of Phrygia, which similarly formed out of the remnants of the Hittite Empire, were Caria (south), Lydia (west), and Mysia (north). Phrygia’s territory expanded to reach Daskyleon in the north and the western edge of Cappadocia. Phrygia prospered thanks to the fertile land, its location between the Persian and Greek worlds, and the skills of the state’s metalworkers and potters. Chamber tombs, especially at the capital Gordium, have distinctive doorways and their excavated contents have revealed both the use of the language of Indo-European Phrygian (from the 8th century BCE) and the wealth which gave rise to the legend of the fabulously rich King Midas.

Phrygian rule was succeeded first by Lydian and later by Persian rule, though the strongly Phrygian character of the peasantry remained, as evidenced by the gravestones of the much later Roman period. Persian sovereignty lasted until the Persians’ defeat at the hands of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great.

The Regions of Ancient Anatolia

If you’ve ever read Homer’s ancient epic poem Iliad, you might remember that the Greeks brought a thousand ships to battle Troy during the Trojan War. But the Trojans had allies, too… Troy also had the Lydians, sometimes called the Maeonians, fighting in their defense.

So who were these Lydians? Today, we know that the kingdom of Lydia emerged after the fall of the Hittite Empire in around 1180. Lydians could have lived there all along, or maybe they took advantage of the confusion to invade the region. We know few concrete facts about their culture, but we do know they spoke an Indo-European language similar to Hittite.

Lydia, with its capital at Sardis, rose to its greatest prominence under the reign of the Mermnad dynasty (c. 700 – 546 BCE). The first king of the dynasty was Gyges (r. c. 680 – 645 BCE) who can claim the fame of being the first named tyrant in Greek records. The fourth king was Alyattes (610 – 560 BCE) who, like Gyges, fought the neighbouring Cimmerians but with more success and acquired parts of Ionia.

Lydia thrived even more under the last Mermnad king, Croesus (r. 560 – 546 BCE), who conquered the Greek cities on the coast and expanded the empire to control all of the Anatolian plateau up to the river Halys (modern Kizilirmak) and thus border the Persian empire. Croesus maintained friendly diplomatic relations with the Greeks and he even gave financial aid to the rebuilding of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and made dedications at Delphi (where he famously misinterpreted the oracle’s proclamation that an empire would fall, alas, it was to be Lydia and not, as Croesus thought, Persia).  The Greeks told of the legendary wealth of Croesus, probably based on the fact that Lydia was one of the first states to mint coinage, perhaps in the reign of Croesus’ father Alyattes.

These roughly made coins were small lumps of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver) or pure silver and gold which were stamped with a design of a lion and an ox. Croesus’ expansion of Lydia came to an abrupt end when the Persian king Cyrus II defeated him in 546 BCE in a battle at Halys.

Persians and Macedonians; 550 BCE – 278 BCE

Home-grown rule disappeared from Anatolia for several hundred years, when the Persians under Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the near and middle East, threatening to engulf Europe as well.

For nearly 100 years Greeks and Persians struggled for control of the known world, until the Greeks demonstrated clear mastery of the Greek sea, around 449 BCE. Persians were pushed out of Europe, but still controlled most of Anatolia. Relative peace prevailed until 334 BCE, when Alexander the Great of Macedonia invaded Anatolia. Within 8 years he conquered the entire Persian Empire and much more, then he died.

Ankara was conquered by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, who came from Gordion to Ankara and stayed in the city for a short period. After his death at Babylon in 323 BC and the subsequent division of his empire amongst his generals, Ankara and its environs fell into the share of Antigonus. Apart from the Phrygian period in which the city experienced its largest expansion in ancient times, another important expansion took place under the Greeks of Pontos [see also: https://folkdancefootnotes.org/culture/ethnicity-history-geography/pontus-pontic-greeks/ ] who came there and developed the city as a trading center for the commerce of goods between the Black Sea ports and Crimea to the north; Assyria, Cyprus, and Lebanon to the south; and Georgia, Armenia and Persia to the east. By that time the city also took its name ÁγκυραÀnkyra (meaning Anchor in Greek) which is still used by the Turks with the slightly modified form of Ankara.

Galatians; 278 BCE – 25 BCE

Wikipedia says: “In 278 BC, the city, along with the rest of central Anatolia, was occupied by the Celtic speaking Galatians, [see also: https://folkdancefootnotes.org/culture/ethnicity-history-geography/galatians-celts-in-anatolia/ ] who were the first to make Ankara one of their main tribal centres, the headquarters of the Tectosage tribe. Other centres were Pessinos, modern Balhisar, for the Trocmi tribe; and Tavium, to the east of Ankara, for the Tolstibogii tribe. The city was then known as Ancyra. The Celtic element was probably relatively small in numbers; a warrior aristocracy which ruled over Phrygian-speaking peasants. However, the Celtic language continued to be spoken in Galatia for many centuries. At the end of the 4th century, St. Jerome, a native of Galatia, observed that the language spoken around Ankara was very similar to that being spoken in the northwest of the Roman world near Trier. This may indicate that the older Phyrigian population had adopted the language of the Celtic invaders.”

Romans, St Paul; 25 BCE – 380 CE

Wikipedia again:

“The city was subsequently conquered by Augustus in 25 BC and passed under the control of the Roman Empire. Now the capital city of the Roman province of Galatia, Ancyra continued to be a center of great commercial importance. Ankara is also famous for the Monumentum Ancyranum (Temple of Augustus and Rome) which contains the official record of the Acts of Augustus, known as the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, an inscription cut in marble on the walls of this temple. The ruins of Ancyra still furnish today valuable bas-reliefs, inscriptions and other architectural fragments.

Augustus decided to make Ancyra one of three main administrative centres in central Anatolia. The town was then populated by Phrygians and Celts—the Galatians who spoke a language closely related to Welsh and Gaelic. Ancyra was the center of a tribe known as the Tectosages, and Augustus upgraded it into a major provincial capital for his empire. Two other Galatian tribal centres, Tavium near Yozgat, and Pessinus (Balhisar) to the west, near Sivrihisar, continued to be reasonably important settlements in the Roman period, but it was Ancyra that grew into a grand metropolis.

St. Paul was an Anatolian, born in the Roman city of Tarsus on the eastern Mediterranean coast of what is now Turkey. On his third trip after converting to Christianity (53-57 AD), Paul visited Ancyra (Ankara), Smyrna(İzmir), Adramyttium (Edremit) and Ephesus (EfesSelçuk), capital of Roman Asia.

An estimated 200,000 people lived in Ancyra in good times during the Roman Empire, a far greater number than was to be the case after the fall of the Roman Empire until the early 20th century. A small river, the Ankara Çayı, ran through the centre of the Roman town. It has now been covered over and diverted, but it formed the northern boundary of the old town during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Çankaya, the rim of the majestic hill to the south of the present city center, stood well outside the Roman city, but may have been a summer resort. In the 19th century, the remains of at least one Roman villa or large house were still standing not far from where the Çankaya Presidential Residence stands today. To the west, the Roman city extended until the area of the Gençlik Park and Railway Station, while on the southern side of the hill, it may have extended downwards as far as the site presently occupied by Hacettepe University. It was thus a sizeable city by any standards and much larger than the Roman towns of Gaul or Britain.”

Invasion by Goths and Arabs

“Ancyra’s importance rested on the fact was that it was the junction point where the roads in northern Anatolia running north–south and east–west intersected. The great imperial road running east passed through Ankara and a succession of emperors and their armies came this way. Unfortunately they were not the only ones to use the Roman highway network, which was equally convenient for invaders. In the second half of the 3rd century, Ancyra was invaded in rapid succession by the Goths coming from the west (who rode far into the heart of Cappadocia, taking slaves and pillaging) and later by the Arabs. For about a decade, the town was one of the western outposts of one of the most brilliant queens of the ancient world, the Arab empress Zenobia from Palmyra in the Syrian desert, who took advantage of a period of weakness and disorder in the Roman Empire to set up a short-lived state of her own.”

The town was reincorporated into the Roman Empire under the Emperor Aurelian in 272 [ACE). The tetrarchy, a system of multiple (up to four) emperors introduced by Diocletian (284-305), seems to have engaged in a substantial programme of rebuilding and of road construction from Ankara westwards to Germe and Dorylaeum (now Eskişehir).

In its heyday, Roman Ankara was a large market and trading center but it also functioned as a major administrative capital, where a high official ruled from the city’s Praetorium, a large administrative palace or office. During the 3rd century, life in Ancyra, as in other Anatolian towns, seems to have become somewhat militarised in response to the invasions and instability of the town. In this period, like other cities of central Anatolia, Ancyra was also undergoing Christianisation.

Christian Ancyra – [Byzantium]: 380 – 1071 CE

Christianity became the official religion of the Eastern Roman Empire [whose headquarters was in Constantinople] in 380. From this demarcation point, Western historians have come to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire as the Byzantine Empire, after Byzantium, the original name of Constantinople. However people living within Byzantine Empire, not having read Western historians, continued to refer to themselves as Romans.

In 314 Ancyra was the center of an important council of the early church; which considered ecclesiastical policy for the reconstruction of the Christian church after the persecutions, and in particular the treatment of ‘lapsi’—Christians who had given in and conformed to paganism during these persecutions. Three councils were held in the former capital of Galatia in Asia Minor, during the 4th century. The first, an orthodox plenary synod, was held in 314, and its 25 disciplinary canons constitute one of the most important documents in the early history of the administration of the Sacrament of Penance. Nine of them deal with conditions for the reconciliation of the lapsi; the others, with marriage, alienations of church property, etc.

Though paganism was probably tottering in Ancyra in Clement’s day, it may still have been the majority religion. Twenty years later, Christianity and monotheism had taken its place. Ancyra quickly turned into a Christian city, with a life dominated by monks and priests and theological disputes. The town council or senate gave way to the bishop as the main local figurehead. During the middle of the 4th century, Ancyra was involved in the complex theological disputes over the nature of Christ, and a form of Arianism seems to have originated there.

In 362–363, the Emperor Julian the Apostate passed through Ancyra on his way to an ill-fated campaign against the Persians, and according to Christian sources, engaged in a persecution of various holy men. The stone base for a statue, with an inscription describing Julian as “Lord of the whole world from the British Ocean to the barbarian nations”, can still be seen, built into the eastern side of the inner circuit of the walls of Ankara Castle. The Column of Julian which was erected in honor of the emperor’s visit to the city in 362 still stands today. In 375, Arian bishops met at Ancyra and deposed several bishops, among them St. Gregory of Nyssa. The modern Ankara, also known in the West as Angora, remains a Roman Catholic titular see in the former Roman province of Galatia in Asia Minor, suffragan of Laodicea. Its episcopal list is given in Gams, “Series episc. Eccl. cath.”; also that of another Ancyra in Phrygia Pacatiana.

In the later 4th century Ancyra became something of an imperial holiday resort. After Constantinople became the East Roman capital, emperors in the 4th and 5th centuries would retire from the humid summer weather on the Bosphorus to the drier mountain atmosphere of Ancyra. Theodosius II (408-450) kept his court in Ancyra in the summers. Laws issued in Ancyra testify to the time they spent there.

The city’s military as well as logistical significance lasted well into the long Byzantine reign. Although Ancyra fell into the hands of several Arab armies numerous times after the 6th century, it remained an important crossroads polis within the Byzantine Empire until the late 11th century.

1071, the Seljuk Turks arrive; 1356, the Ottomans: 1402, Timur (Tamurlane):

In 1071, the Seljuk Sultan Alparslan opened the gates of Anatolia for the Turks with his victory at the Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt). He then annexed Ankara, an important location for military transportation and natural resources, to his territory in 1073. Orhan I, second Bey of the Ottoman Empire, captured the city in 1356. Another Turkic ruler, Timur, (Tamurlane-DB) defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara in 1402 and captured the city, but in 1403 Ankara was again under Ottoman control.

Following the Ottoman defeat during World War I, the Ottoman capital Constantinople was occupied by the Allies. The Turkish nationalist movement, under Kemal Atatürk, established its headquarters in Ankara in 1920 (see Turkish War of Independence). After the War of Independence was won, the Turkish nationalists abolished the Ottoman Empire on October 29, 1923. A few days earlier, on October 13, 1923, Ankara had replaced Constantinople as its capital, and it became the capital city of the new Republic of Turkey.

Until this time, people living in Anatolia (the Ottoman Empire) tended to refer to themselves according to their religion more than their ethniciry or nationality. Islamic residents thought of themselves as Muslims, not Turks. It was only after Kemal Atatürk abolished the Ottoman Empire and declared the land The Republic of Turkey that residents began thinking of themselves as Turks – citizens of a country.

After Ankara became the capital of the newly founded Republic of Turkey, new development divided the city into an old section, called Ulus, and a new section, called Yenişehir. Ancient buildings reflecting Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman history and narrow winding streets mark the old section. The new section, now centered around Kızılay, has the trappings of a more modern city: wide streets, hotels, theaters, shopping malls, and high-rises. Government offices and foreign embassies are also located in the new section.

Ankara is one of the world’s oldest capital cities, having been a major urban center, though not a capital, for far longer than cities like London, Paris or Madrid; even Istanbul. When present Istanbul, then the Roman provincial town of Byzantium, was being groomed as a new capital for the Roman Empire in 324, Ankara was already an important administrative center from which most of the northern half of Turkey was run.

Ankara (a.k.a. Angora) and Fur

Until the 1930’s English speakers often referred to the city as Angora, and several species of soft-furred animals that supposedly originated there still bear the name – in English, anyway. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

Angora cat

Ankara is home to a world-famous domestic cat breed – the Turkish Angora, called Ankara kedisi (Ankara cat) in Turkish. Turkish Angoras are one of the ancient, naturally occurring cat breeds, having originated in Ankara and its surrounding region in central Anatolia.

They mostly have a white, silky, medium to long length coat, no undercoat and a fine bone structure. There seems to be a connection between the Angora Cats and Persians, and the Turkish Angora is also a distant cousin of the Turkish Van. Although they are known for their shimmery white coat, currently there are more than twenty varieties including black, blue and reddish fur. They come in tabby and tabby-white, along with smoke varieties, and are in every color other than pointed, lavender, and cinnamon (all of which would indicate breeding to an outcross.)

Eyes may be blue, green, or amber, or even one blue and one amber or green. The W gene which is responsible for the white coat and blue eye is closely related to the hearing ability, and the presence of a blue eye can indicate that the cat is deaf to the side the blue eye is located. However, a great many blue and odd-eyed white cats have normal hearing, and even deaf cats lead a very normal life if kept indoors.

Ears are pointed and large, eyes are almond shaped and the head is massive with a two plane profile. Another characteristic is the tail, which is often kept parallel to the back.

Angora rabbit

The Angora rabbit (Turkish: Ankara tavşanı) is a variety of domestic rabbit bred for its long, soft hair. The Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara and its surrounding region in central Anatolia, along with the Angora cat and Angora goat. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid-18th century, and spread to other parts of Europe by the end of the century. They first appeared in the United States in the early 20th century. They are bred largely for their long Angora wool, which may be removed by shearing, combing, or plucking (gently pulling loose wool.)

Angoras are bred mainly for their wool because it is silky and soft. They have a humorous appearance, as they oddly resemble a fur ball. Most are calm and docile but should be handled carefully. Grooming is necessary to prevent the fiber from matting and felting on the rabbit. A condition called “wool block” is common in Angora rabbits and should be treated quickly.[75] Sometimes they are shorn in the summer as the long fur can cause the rabbits to overheat.

Angora goat – Mohair fleece

The Angora goat (Turkish: Ankara keçisi) is a breed of domestic goat that originated in Ankara and its surrounding region in central Anatolia.[76]

This breed was first mentioned in the time of Moses, roughly in 1500 BC.[77] The first Angora goats were brought to Europe by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, about 1554, but, like later imports, were not very successful. Angora goats were first introduced in the United States in 1849 by Dr. James P. Davis. Seven adult goats were a gift from Sultan Abdülmecid I in appreciation for his services and advice on the raising of cotton.

The fleece taken from an Angora goat is called mohair. A single goat produces between five and eight kilograms (11 and 18 pounds) of hair per year. Angoras are shorn twice a year, unlike sheep, which are shorn only once. Angoras have high nutritional requirements due to their rapid hair growth. A poor quality diet will curtail mohair development. The United States, Turkey, and South Africa are the top producers of mohair.

For a long period of time, Angora goats were bred for their white coat. In 1998, the Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association was set up to promote breeding of colored Angoras. Today, Angora goats produce white, black (deep black to greys and silver), red (the color fades significantly as the goat gets older), and brownish fiber.

Angora goats were depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 50 lira banknotes of 1938–1952.[78]

Dances of Ankara

Turks divide their country into a few dance regions, named after the predominant dance in the region. Ankara lies within the Çiftetelli & Kaşik-Karşılama region.

Kaşik (Spoon) Dances:

Text found here: https://www.bazaarturkey.com/tours/folk_dance_lesson.html “In Central and Southern Anatolia, there are many dances which are performed with a pair of wooden spoons in each hand. A few centers of this type of dance are Dinar, Bolu, Konya and Silifke. Many of the spoon dances from Silifke, located along the Mediterranean coast, features spoons with which the dancers click out a lively rhythm while executing quick, agile movements with their feet and arms. Frequently, the songs tell of the migratory Turkmen people. The lyrics describe their nomadic journeys, or their daily routines when settled.

The formation of kasikli dances varies and is done in lines, circles or semi-circles. In many cases, the dancers are face to face as they dance apart, their hands clacking the backs of the bowls of the spoons together. Their arm movements are prominent, as is often the case in dances that incorporate accessories, such as handkerchiefs or tools.”

silifke dance
Dancing starts at 1:00

Çiftetelli

According to the site found here: https://www.bazaarturkey.com/tours/folk_dance_lesson.htmlCifteteli is a Turkish dance, derived from the çiftetelli, a Turkish traditional dance. Çiftetelli is derived from the words çifte (double) and telli (stringed), in Turkish.
The çiftetelli appears in many variations in the folk music of Western and Central Turkey. The different compositions based on this popular rhythm each have their own name. In Turkey, çiftetelli has been relegated to wedding music, where Roma and Greeks have adopted the upbeat folk rythmns into oriental dancing. Often “tsifteteli” in Turkey is inappropriately used synonymously with oriental dance.”
Hence, rather staid versions of çiftetelli are all I can find on YouTube – DB.

An engagement party!
And a wedding..
Interesting – this doesn’t look like a wedding!

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