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Throuqhout the ages birds have had sacred significance for the people of Anatolia, who have incorporated them into their works of art


irds have not only been hunted for food , but also protected as sacred creatures by the peoples of Anatolia. Birds appear as symbolic motifson wall reliefs, pottery, glass, carpets and rugs of Anatel ian manufacture. While the hunter was a symbol of strength and manhood , the bird was beloved and respected . The bird is an ubiquitous element of Hittite , Urartu and Lydian decorative art. In folklore and literature, too, the bird is the subject of countless poems and songs. Since the earliest times , birds were considered to bring good fortune and to embody the liberated spirits of the dead . Birds of prey, in particular the fal co n and the eagle, appear frequently in the art of the Hittites and Seljuks. In Ottoman times , pigeon holes or nesting boxes made of wood or stone featured widely in architecture, madrasahs, caravanserais, palaces and kiosks . Set in rows into the masonry, these boxes were often intricately carved and embellished . Ottoman palaces had aviaries where falcons were kept and trained for hunting by professional falconers, and bird trainers known as kuşbaz provided popular entertainment. In Ottoman times the morning was known as kuşluk vakti (bird time) , and the morning meal as kuşluk yemeği (bird meal) rather than kahvaltı as it is today. Although song birds were sametimes kept in cages, many Turkish people had an aversion to taking the liberty of a bird, and it was regarded asa charitable deed in the eyes of God to free a captive bird. Some street seliers made a living seliing smail birds to passersby who then released them into the air. The stork, the crane and pigeons are protected and regarded as sacred symbols today.

1986 12  
1986 12