Open up a world of Turkish inspiration with a Cornucopia digital subscription

Buy or gift a stand-alone digital subscription and get unlimited access to dozens of back issues for just £18.99 / $18.99 a year.

Please register at with your subscriber account number or contact

Buy a digital subscription Go to the Digital Edition


A bird in hand

Man's best friend, the sparrowhawk

During the Turkish quail-hunting season, man’s best friend is the sparrowhawk. Roger Upton describes how these redoubtable birds help to bring home the bacon

  • A sparrowhawk in the hands of the Istanbul austringer Niyazi Akkaya (Simon Upton)

For many generations, sparrowhawks have been used in far-flung areas of Turkey for hunting game. All along the Black Sea coast of the country, and to the south around Mersin and Adana, these wild short-winged hawks are still skilfully trained to capture their quarry between August and September.

Ideally the chosen sparrowhawks are trapped shortly after leaving the nest. Immature, inexperienced hawks tend to adapt more readily to the training regime than adults, which have good reason to fear man’s presence. In choosing a hawk, falconers (or austringers, as sparrowhawk trainers are more properly known) look for large, open feet and a prominent eyebrow marked with white feathers. Females are usually chosen, being larger than males.

A young sparrowhawk with the right temperament can be trained in just two weeks. Time must be taken to discourage the bad habit of ‘carrying’, or flying off with the kill…

To read the full article, purchase Issue 7

Buy the issue
Issue 7, 1994/95 The Great Walls of Istanbul
£700.00 / $891.83 / €822.08
Other Highlights from Cornucopia 7
  • Istanbul in Peril

    The Anastasian and Theodosian walls together protected the city for many years; but now this vast and beautiful network is under attack from within. Cornucopia investigates the dangers that threaten this important cultural icon and its surroundings.

  • The Jewel Box

    The Çuruksulu Mehmet Pasha Yali once saw diplomatic service as the home of the ambassador Muharrem Nuri Birgi. Beautifully preserved, its restrained exterior and spacious interior evince the classical age of Ottoman style, and its clifftop position provides timeless views

  • Slaves to Fantasy

    Chris Farrard questions the motives behind William Allan’s famous Slave Market

  • Stock taking

    Berrin Torolsan sheds light on the secrets that ensure fluffy, succulent results from rice, bulgur or couscous, with recipes from the homely to the festive.
    More cookery features

  • East with the Night

    The fascination of Istanbul is enough to keep visitors and even the city’s more Westernised residents, from exploring the Asian interior of Central Anatolia, whose local capital, Konya, boasts a million residents and a daunting commitment to Muslim fundamentalism. But a night’s journey by train from Haydarpaşa brings one back to the very dawn of civilisation, and the experience is well worth the not inconsiderable effort of exploring.

Buy the issue
Issue 7, 1994/95 The Great Walls of Istanbul
£700.00 / $891.83 / 28,728.66 TL
Available from the Cornucopia Store
Related Destinations
Cornucopia Digital Subscription

The Digital Edition

Cornucopia works in partnership with the digital publishing platform Exact Editions to offer individual and institutional subscribers unlimited access to a searchable archive of fascinating back issues and every newly published issue. The digital edition of Cornucopia is available cross-platform on web, iOS and Android and offers a comprehensive search function, allowing the title’s cultural content to be delved into at the touch of a button.

Digital Subscription: £18.99 / $18.99 (1 year)

Subscribe now