Adana's bird rearing tradition seeks place on UNESCO list
by Daily Sabah with AA
ISTANBULApr 09, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with AA
Apr 09, 2015 12:00 am
Adana Metropolitan Municipality launched a project to add the city's tradition of aviculture to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Existing for hundreds of years, pigeon rearing is a highly popular activity in the city, where locals living in slums have a special place for them on their rooftops
The Adana Metropolitan Municipality has initiated a project that aims to get the city's aviculture tradition included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Fatih Karayandı, the Head of the Municipal Health Affairs Department, told Anadolu Agency that raising pigeons is a highly popular activity in Adana, where the locals living in the city's slum areas have a special place for them on their rooftops. Karayandı also said aviculture has a long history there. Locals sometimes change the birds they have or release them into the sky every evening and watch their movements with joy. "I believe every local resident in Adana is interested in bird caring and breeding. Our aviculture and bird market traditions comply with the standards of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. We are currently collecting necessary documents required by the ministry," he said. Karayandı said some experts in Adana are working on Ottoman archives to find out more about the city's bird market culture.
The local bird market attracts many people especially on weekends, and has become part of the city culture. Karayandı said the market is also undergoing rennovation. To raise more awareness on this issue, a photography exhibition "Kuş Pazarı Düş Pazarı" (Bird Market Dream Market) was held by the Adana Amateur Photographers Association recently. Amateur and professional bird fanciers gather at the local bird market, to which interested visitors and locals also flock. The displayed birds are either exchanged or sold. Karayandı said the market is a weekend venue for locals where they spend enjoyable time. He said that the history of the bird market goes back hundreds of years. "When carrier pigeons were frequently used, the owners used to exchange them. Bird markets emerged in those times," he said. The bird market in Adana has a long-rooted history, Karayandı continued. He said the market is held outside the city and needs rehabilitation. "The market should be moved to another venue where families can easily go."
Necessary steps will be taken in order to add Adana's aviculture onto the UNESCO list to keep this tradition alive and preserve it for future generations. Karayandı said that the unused flea market can be turned into a place for birds, so that locals might open their own shops there. Each week, the bird market receives between 10,000 and 15,000 visitors, and a new venue may increase the number of visitors, up to 30,000 or 40,000 a week.
Presently, the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List features Turkish coffee and culture, traditional paper decoration art "marbling," Mawlavi Sema ceremonies, "Karagöz" (Shadow Theater), the Kırkpınar oil wrestling festival, the Mesir paste of Manisa, the ceremonial Keskek tradition, the Alevi-Bektaşi ritual "Semah," traditional "sohbet" meetings, the "aşıklık" (minstrelsy) tradition and "meddahlık" - the art of public storytellers and Nevruz (a common heritage shared with Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan).
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