In her youth, says 60-year-old Huriye Arikan, it took three days to move from her village near the coast up to the alpine pastures every spring.

Back then, camels and donkeys carried the household items required for the summer, and the sheep found their way to the alpine pastures almost by themselves.

Today everything is much easier.

Cars only need two hours to bring household effects and cattle from the lower village of Ahatli to the upper village of the same name, 50 kilometers deep in the mountains.

Rainer Hermann

Editor in politics.

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What has remained, however, is the rhythm of her life, which follows that of nature and animals. When the snow melts in the mountains, it is not only their animals that are drawn to the top. Her internal clock also tells her that the time has come to leave the winter quarters. Now in August it is more than ten degrees cooler up here than on the damp coast, and it gets really cold at night. At the end of October, Huriye Arikan and her husband will dismantle the tent, which looks like a hut, and stow it away for the next year. Otherwise the snow masses would crush it at an altitude of 2000 meters.

Your village Ahatli belongs to the Turkish district town of Kaş.

It has 60,000 inhabitants, 55,000 of whom live in the 54 villages around the city center.

Every village has winter quarters downstairs that look out over the sea, and an alpine pasture, the Yayla, up in the mountains as summer quarters.

Every village also does agriculture.

Even if the district town is a popular holiday destination, agriculture still contributes an impressive 80 percent to Kaş's economic output.

A wandering people

Many of the inhabitants of the villages around Kaş are still semi-nomadic, so-called Yörüks. For centuries, Turkish nomadic tribes and semi-nomads, who settled along the Mediterranean coast from Adana in the east to Bodrum in the west, have moved up into the Taurus Mountains in summer. Turkish nomadic tribes brought their way of life to Anatolia in 1071 after Manzikert's victory over the Byzantine army.

The term Yörük appeared on the Ottoman tax lists for the first time in the 16th century for those who did not have a permanent place of residence but migrated (yürümk), and even today nomads who have settled down proudly refer to themselves as Yörük. They probably built villages with permanent houses on the coast. But they left in the summer. They then took their possessions with them, which had to be portable, functional and often beautiful, as evidenced by the kilimes that were made on the yaylas on the looms of women and girls in the past.

Huriye Arikan no longer weaves kilims. She is fully occupied with everyday life. She looks after her garden, which is what she and her husband plant there. She keeps an eye on the sheep outside on the mountain pasture. In the evening they have to be back in the gate to be safe from a roaming wolf. Because the sheep are their income. They are supposed to thrive before being sold for the Feast of Sacrifice next summer and then slaughtered. The grass of the pasture is not lush this year, she complains. There was not enough snow in winter.

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