Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Donkeys In Today's Hurriyet

A gem quoted from a Turkish English-Language newspaper...

Free Donkeys on Shores of Aegean
The offspring of doneys left by Greeks who left Turkey after the Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913 number in the thousands today and are roaming free. During the Greek exodus, most migrants traveled to Greece by sea after transporting all their goods to shore by donkey. The donkeys, however, were not taken on the journey. According to elderly locals the Ottoman Government tried to look after the donkeys and ordered the district governors to gather them together. "They first gathered them at castle constellations or in the village countryside and tried to take care of them," said a local elder called Uncle Cevdet. "There were people who wanted to take ownership of some of the donkeys but that was a difficult job. The donkeys did not have saddles or leashes and you couldn't make them move even by holding them by their ears. They are stubborn animals," Cevdet said, adding some people even died from kicks while trying to move the donkeys and when they brayed in chorus the sound was unbearable. Eventually, the donkeys moved to districts like Çeşme, Ayvalık.  

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