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The Beauty of the Beast

Arabians and Thoroughbreds

Donna Landry visits Karacabey, the national stud near Bursa, with the Ottoman historian Caroline Finkel and discovers an equestrian paradise

  • Arabian yearling fillies at Karacabey's Tigem stud.

Broad acres. As the highway winds from Bursa and the Marmara coast towards Izmir and the Aegean, a prospect opens of rolling fields and white fences. There are stands of trees in immaculate parkland. Horses move in the shadows and the vast expanses, roaming freely within huge enclosures. Welcome to Karacabey, a paradise for horses divided by the highway. On the eastern side of the road, large, shield-shaped signs ornament the fences, proclaiming that these rolling hills and horses are the property of TJK, Türkiye Jokey Külübü, the Jockey Club of Turkey. The western side of the highway is more discreetly signposted, more heavily forested, more difficult to glimpse from the road. This is the domain of Tigem. Tarım İşletmeleri Genel Müdürlüğü, the General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises, Karacabey branch. Here the horses, as well as cattle, sheep and kangals, those wolfish, loyal guardian sheepdogs, are the property of the Turkish government.

Other Highlights from Cornucopia 38
  • What is a Turk?

    Christian Tyler, author of Wild West China, The Taming of Xinjiang, assesses Ergun Çağatay’s extraordinary volume of photographs of the wider Turkic world

  • Feast Food

    The çörek is full of symbolism, and its association with religious festivals reflects earlier pagan customs. All sorts of buns, loaves and çörek are eaten at Sabantoy, the colourful June festival celebrated by the Altay, Çuvaş, Tatar and Başkurt peoples of Central Asia.
    More cookery features

  • The Birthplace of Empire

    Heath W Lowry, in the first of a series of articles this issue, pays tribute to the city that gave the Ottoman state its first capital.

  • Whistlestop Bursa: A day out on the tiles

    John Carswell on the city that married the courtly arts of Asia to the princely aspirations of Renaissance Europe. Photographs by Jürgen Frank

  • The Patriot

    As Bursa lay in ruins after the earthquake of 1855, the man the Sultan sent to rescue the city was Ahmed Vefik Pasha. A brilliant man of letters, champion of Ottoman causes and very undiplomatic diplomat, he was to leave an indelible mark on Turkish culture. David Barchard reinstates a wayward hero.

Buy the issue
Issue 38, 2007 The Big Bursa Issue
£15.00 / $19.55 / 647.03 TL
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