Relationship between a natural monumental stand in Turkey and local beliefs

Oner N., ÖZDEN S., Birben U.

JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY, cilt.31, ss.149-155, 2010 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 31
  • Basım Tarihi: 2010
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.149-155


Northbound roads from Ankara, the capital of Turkey pass through immensely wide plains containing almost no trees. There is a small hill above Tuney village located at the right side of the road 80 km north of Ankara, and it is conspicuous by a small forest. How did this forest survive until today? This is a curious question for everybody interested in nature. This study aims to review and analyze two different structures of the area: the local peasants who created a myth for the small forest in question, and the forest itself Informal interview method was employed to understand the peasants' perception of the forest and to get to know them. Inclination of the field ranges between 12-35 degrees four sample quadrats of 400 m(2), which can best represent the constitution they belong to, were taken in order to find out the stand constitutions in the research site and their various silvicultural properties. There are 10 trees having monumental features in this natural stand. The most magnificent of these trees is 15 m, its diameter is 60 cm and it is estimated to be 500 yr old. The small forest studied herein does not owe its survival to the shaman belief in question; otherwise all juniper forests would have remained intact. The small forest is conserved not because juniper is considered sacred, but the local people pay respect to the evliya's grave there. The most significant conclusion deducted from this case study is environmental protection and local beliefs have closer relationships.