An Overview of Cultural Practices from Turkey

18th August 2013

• Nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralism: A successful environmental management strategy enhancing biodiversity practiced by distinct ethnic groups shaped around a cultural belief system in relation to nature protection (ex: Yörüks ve Koçers)

• Agro pastoral systems based on local knowledge: A traditional food production system which dates from prehistoric times and are largely resilient agroecosystems. (ex: mountain olive farming)

• Traditional forestry: An ancient forestry management system of local residents living at the hilly and woody areas of the Aegean and Mediterranean regions of Anatolia, protecting and respecting the trees and the forest shaped around Alevi belief system. (ex: Tahtacılar)

• Traditional fishing: Small scale, commercial or subsistence fishing practices using traditional fishing tools based on local knowledge which accounts ecosystem effects and prevents declines in species abundance and diversity (ex: dalyancılık-trap fishing and other)

• Traditional hunting: A set of ancient belief systems reflects upon hunting practices which has an positive outcome on the protection of species (ex: partridge and gazelle hunting)

• Harvest of wildplants: Gathering wild plants for medicinal use and home consumption which have positive outcome in terms of human well-being and biodiversity.

• Water management (water mills, traditional irrigation practices)

• Traditional bioclimatic architecture: Traditional mud brick and dry-stone constructions protecting species which have adapted to such building types (ex: Lesser Kestrel and mud brick houses in Middle Anatolia)

• Belief systems: Other rituals, beliefs and customs about wildlife, sacred species

• Natural, cultural heritage and sacred sites:  Supporting biodiversity conservation as protected areas