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Land Of The Sun; Kurdistan

From East the Sun rises - crimson red and patched orange cloudy skies... Emancipating the ancient native Kurdish people of the valleys, gorges, rivers and mountains of Kurdistan...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Kurdish National Pride: Kengal - Gammal

Kengal - Gammal

According to Bijan Eliasi, Director of Kurdish Worldwide Resources:
"Kangal dog is a native breed from the Kangal area in northwest Kurdistan in Turkey. It is known as "Gammal" to every Kurdish child. It is inaccurate to call this dog a "Turkish breed," for the following reasons: The nomadic Turkish tribes did not arrive in these areas of Anatolia (modern Turkey) until after the Battle of Manzikert in AD 1072, that is, about 800 years ago. However, the Kurds had been residing in the same geographical region--Kurdistan--for many thousands of years. Their name as the native population of there is recorded as early as 3,100 yeas ago in the inscriptions of king Tiglath-pileser I. This simple
chronology alone should overturn the present designation of the Kangal breed as a "Turkish" breed."

This quote can be found in it's entirety at:

Kurd at "Zozan"...

The Kengal is a cherished dog among Kurds. It is celebrated for it's strenght and loyalty. Kurds are a people with strong agricultural customs and traditions. Their lifestyle has evolved from a semi-nomadic to a sedentary lifestyle - still keeping traditions like going to "Zozan" (Kurdish for "highlands;" as shown in picture) with their sheep. The place where they put up their tent and the surrounding area is called "War" - here they will stay through the summer to avoid the hot climate and come back down to their villages in autoum when it starts getting cool again.

A Kurdish family is usualy quite large in size. Consisting from 4 to 8 children. This is especially true in the rural areas, where there is a lot of work at the farm and the parents need help with the cattle, sheep, ochyard, corn etc. and all the work that is involved. Kurds have a tradition of making youghurt of milk from sheep.

The Kengal has always played an important role in looking after the herd and protecting their masters from wolves, bears etc. It is not unusual for the Kengal to have a barbed leash - as shown in the picture above. In Kurdistan a dog isn't brought inside a house, most probably because of hygiene. They usually sleep under the open sky or in their doghouse... If they have one!

In the map below you can see where the Kangal can be found in Eastern Kurdistan. However, although I am only found a map for their where abouts in Eastern Kurdistan, the Kangal can be found in all of Kurdistan - from Siwas in North-western Kurdistan and all the way to Pahve in South-eastern Kurdistan. It is a nationally recognized loyal subject of the Kurds and has as Bijan Eliasi describes been so for thousands of years.

The grey spot marks Ûrmiye, my birth town, while the red line marks the border for East Kurdistan.

Picture of me with my Kengal puppy in Sêro, Eastern Kurdistan - I was about 4 years old...

Although these aren't Kangals - I thought I might share the picture...


At 8:46 AM, Blogger Piling said...

Nice pictures ! thanx for sharing them. I am very fond of these dogs, they are a very beautiful breed.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Dara Sor said...

Hey! Thank you... =D

Yes, my favorite dogs! Make you feel safe even when you are occupied by Turks, Persians or Arabs. LOL! =)

At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan so youmight like akc schnauzer

At 1:34 AM, Blogger Dara Sor said...

Awwwww - Thanks... That was a CUTE site! =D

Glad you like the Gammal/Kengal too... ;)

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Vladimir said...

You make Kurds proud of their culture;). Keep on blogging and don't say I am arrogant.. SIGH

At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meet with the truth if you can;

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


this is

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Dara Sor said...

Well, Mr. Anonymous,

First of all - the Wikipedia is a FREE online encyclopedia - which anybody and everybody can write their version of things in. So your "proof" or "evidence" or whatever you wanna call it (that "Kengal is Turkish") is weak.

Secondly - I need not remind you and others of the simple fact that 2/3's of "Sivas Il" or "Sivas Province" is historically, ethnically and culturally Kurdish, not Turkish - this includes the city called "Kengal" - excluding the city called Sivas - and including the city called Zara. On these grounds, the fact that "Turkey" only has exsisted the last 80 years and that Kurds have increasingly been deported, forcefully assimilated and oppressed especially in the outskirts of Kurdistan (including Sivas, Elbîstan, Meletî,Entep etc.) we can without doubt claim the Kengal as a national Kurdish dog...

What you failed to notice in my article was that I put up pictures of myself with a Kengal dog - now tell me how the Kengal is "Turkey national dog" if a kid in Sêro - Iranian Kurdistan is hugging it...?

Like I said - you have no "proof"...

At 4:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you say that Sivas was a Kurdish city...you have to go back to school my friend and learn more about history ...you are really funny...and de Kangal dog is Turkish...i know that some people want to steel everything from the Turks but be a realist dont dream please...dont lie to people...Kangal is Turkish ...Sivas is Turkish Turkey is Turkish and will be for ever dont forget..have a nice day bye bye

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Dara Sor said...

Yes - EVERYTHING in "Turkey" is "Turkish"... That is what fascist Turks tell people. Siwas, the PROVINCE (not the city) had and still has a large number of Kurds (mostly Kirmanckî Kurds of Elewî faith). Zara for example is one of the most historically Kurdish cities in all of Siwas Province.

Stop telling people lies... "Turkey" is not realy "Turkey" - and it has only been "Turkish" (in e.g. per official status) since 1923... So don't go around lying to people, Turk... ;)

At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we can see the fasists :) i swear you all have pure evil in your bloods against TURKS i am just laughing, if everyone carrys on about 2 thousand years ago u cant run around saying american pitt bulls because america has only about less then 200 years history.
pout it this way every dog acts like the nation.
1- america and the UK have staff and pitt bulls they are the same dogs just like english and americans.
2- germans have german shephards clever dogs just like the germans.
3- norway has the siberian wolves nothing other than the looks :)
finally TURKEY has a KANGAL big enough stands with honour never looks up to its feeder and owner, well come off it how can a dog like kangal be KURDISH kurds are known for selling anyone that is useless to them how can a KANGAL be dishonoured being a kurd when having a history of being a OTTOMAN armys national dog :) thank u dream on KANGAL is tukish in and out kurds i see are like not anyone else they are untrustfull people they eat your food drink your tea but will sell u for 2p

At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets say it this way where have we seen KURDISTAN in world history :)
sivas the region is national turkeys stronghold how can we say its kurdish its all TURKISH enemies trying to spoil turkeys brotherhood, lets say this in turkey we are all brothers turks, kurds, laz and cerkez but pkk backers are the ppl that set this site up and their backers are the european democrats that have one thought take TURKEY out of the map :) turkish tea no its greek, turkish raki no its armenian, turkish baklava no its greek :), TURKISH KANGAL!!!!! but no its kurdish pouhahahahahahha look back at history we will never be wiped out and have honour of grandfathers to stick out for rights untill last person dies so dont worry 300 millions wont die easy :) KANGAL TURKDUR insandan daha yakin hele kurttan daha sadikdir :)

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At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Matthew said...

They are splendid looking hounds and I'm sure they're wonderfully loyal.

However I found while wondering around Anatolia that some of their number could be a little over enthuisiastic in there protective duties.

I quickly learnt to carry a pocketfull of stones...

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