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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
02 Nov 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 2, 2014: YošruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan rests with his family and his business partner Naki Tez around a fire at a camp at 1200 m above sea level on the southern slope of the Taurus Mountains. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
01 Nov 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 2, 2014: Goats of YšorŸuk shepherd Refik …Ogan drink water at a spring in a wooded area of the Taurus Mountains, during their migration towards the winter grazes on the coastal hills. Goat milk is used by YošruŸks to produce their celebrated Tulum cheese and delicacies, like goat butter and yogurt. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
01 Nov 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 2, 2014: YošruŸk shepherd †UmmuŸ …Ogan milks a goat of her family's herd on the southern slope of the Taurus Mountains during their migration towards the winter grazes on the coastal hills. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
01 Nov 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 2, 2014: YšoruŸk shepherd U†mmuŸ O…gan makes the fire for lunch while her husband Refik brings her firewood. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
01 Nov 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 2, 2014: The goat herd, led by YšoruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan, walks down a trail in a wooded area of the Taurus Mountains during their migration toward winter grazes on the coastal hills. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
01 Nov 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 2, 2014: YošruŸk shepherd †UmmuŸ O…gan gets ready to make lunch with two butchered roosters, at a 1200 m above sea level camp on the southern slope of the Taurus Mountains. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
01 Nov 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YošruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan leads his herd, armed with an automatic shotgun, while his older son …Ozcan follows it, also armed with a shotgun. Even more than wolves they fear feraldogs which, unlike wolves, are not afraid of men or shepherd dogs. A recent, controversial bill planning to solve stray dogs problem in urban areas by deporting them to the wilderness is deeply concerning for shepherds. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YšoruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan's truck climbs along the trail
toward the mountain pass where they spent the summer, while his sons lead the herd through the mountains. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YšoruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan's herd graze while the shepherds quickly eat and rest, during a pause in their migration towards the coastal low hills where they will spend the winter. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YšoruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan guards his herd, armed with an automatic shotgun. The day before their migration began, a sheep belonging to a neighboring "yayla" had been killed by a wolf, and recent traces of wolves have been found along their path. The Turkish word for wolf is "kurt", but YošruŸks call it "janavar", "the beast". (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: An outraged chicken looks at the camera while held by Yoruk shepherd †UmmuŸ hanim, while the rest of her family hunts down the other chickens, to take them for the winter migration down to the coastal hills. The older ones and the roosters will be used as meat supply, butchered along the way. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: …Ozay O…gan's , younger son of Refik, removes the cover of the goat shelter to store it for winter. He is doing so in preparation for the winter migration with the herd down to the coastal hills. The typical shelters are called "Ilkilik", from the archaic Turkish word for goat "ilki", still used only in YošruŸk language. Once they were covered with goat wool canvas. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) October 31, 2014: A "yayla", a mountain outpost where YošruŸk nomads and their herds spend the summers, at 1800 m above sea level. It is called SšoguŸt (Willow) from the derelict tree that stands by the well and it's made of just five houses and a dozen of goat shelters. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: The goat herd, led by YšoruŸk shepherds …Ozcan and …Ozay O…gan, descends the southern rim of the Taurus Mountains, toward the coastal low hills where they will spend the winter. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YšoruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan's truck steers carefully along the hairpin turns of the trail down the southern rim of the Taurus Mountains, descending to the coastal low hills where his goats herd will spend the winter. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YošruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan's herd climbs toward the mountain pass between the high plains where they spent the summer and the steep rim of the Taurus Mountains, before descending to the coastal low hills where they will spend the winter. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: The herd of 249 goats and 4 sheep, led by Refik …Ogan and his older son O…zcan, leaves the "yayla", the mountain outpost where they spent the summer, heading to the low coastal hills in their seasonal migration. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YošruŸk shepherd U†mmuŸ O…gan prepares dinner while making tea on an old stove at a camp located 1200 m above sea level on the southern slope of the Taurus Mountains. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: Refik O…gan watches his goats descending the southern rim of the Taurus Mountains, while a break in the clouds shows glimpses of sunny wooded areas. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) November 1, 2014: YošruŸk shepherd …Ozcan O…gan leads his goats herd out of the fog on the southern rim of the Taurus Mountains, descending to the coastal low hills where they will spend the winter. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
31 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) October 31, 2014: YšorŸuk shepherd Refik O…gan and his business partner, documentary film maker and honey producer Naki Tez discuss accounting in Mr. …Ogan's mountain "manar".(Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
30 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) October 31, 2014: The family of Refik …Ogan, and his business partner Naki Tez, have dinner in their mountain "manar". (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
30 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) October 31, 2014: A typical YošruŸk dinner at shepherd Refik O…gan's mountain "manar". Aside from the bean stews and bread, goat yogurt is a pillar of YoroŸk cuisine and revered across Turkey. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
30 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) October 31, 2014: The "manar", a drywall house of YošruŸk shepherd Refik O…gan at SšoguŸt, the mountain "yayla" where his family spend the summers with their goats. (Photo by Piero Castellano)

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The yoruk- traditional nomads in a mo...
Taurus Mountains
By Piero Castellano
30 Oct 2014

Taurus Mountains (Turkey) October 31, 2014: †UmmuŸ hanim, wife of Refik O…gan, cooks on a stone hearth in their family's mountain "manar".

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Iranian Soccer Fever
By Nicola Zolin
18 Jun 2014

February-April, 2014
Iran

While Iran usually known for nuclear politics and religious radicalism, it is also known for soccer. Iran is ranked as the best team in Asia and is participating in this year's World Cup in Brazil. For country as culturally and socially diverse as Iran, soccer is unifying force and the passion for the sport permeates every corner of society.

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Iran's Shrinking Itinerants
Iran
By mianeh
02 Aug 2011

A quarter of century ago, Iran's itinerants - or nomadic people - made up a quarter of the population and, for the most part, governed the regions where they lived. Today, they form just one million of Iran's 75,000,000 population, scattered across the country in over 100 sub-tribes.

Even though the itinerants typically move from one location to another, many have settled in one place either because they were forced to by the government or because modernity has finally caught up with them.

Many migrate to the big cities in search of work. The trend is growing all the time and it's possible that within the next few decades there will be little left of these nomadic people.

The economy of Iran's itinerants is based on livestock breeding, but they are mainly known for producing beautiful handicrafts. Although the signs of their traditional lifestyle are fading, traces of old popular customs can still be found.

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The Kidnapped Brides of Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek
By Daniel Burgui Iguzkiza
31 Jan 2011

Text and photos by Daniel Burgui Iguzkiza

FULL ARTICLE IN ENGLISH UPON REQUEST
(ARTICLE COMPLET EN FRANCAIS SI-JOINT) (ARTICULO COMPLETO EN ESPAÑOL ANEXADO)

Although there are no reliable statistics, it is estimated that one in three women in Kyrgyzstan are kidnapped and married against their will. Young women are often forced to marry the men who abduct them, in many cases complete strangers, and sometimes violently.

When Bermet left her home in the morning, nothing made her suspect that by the end of that day; she would be a married woman. Bermet, 19, was abducted by a stranger in Bishkek as she was coming back from her college philology class. She was violently forced into her captor's car, where she spent more than three hours fighting her abduction on the way to a house in Cholpon-Ata, in a remote village hundreds of kilometres far from her place at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital city. Exhausted by her efforts, she decided to quit. “I decided stop fighting because I was exhausted and I was nearly to faint”, she narrates now, at her mother-in-law's house. She was isolated in a room and after passing a night there she was forced to get married. She eventually got pregnant by her kidnapper. Today, her husband.

Elmira Elimsolova, a woman nearing fifty-years-old, and her daughter were both married against their will.

"I was kidnapped when I was young and I have had seven children and a good husband,” she said. “Two of my four daughters have been kidnapped too. I cried a lot, I did not want that for them, but now they are happy."

Although bride kidnapping is against Kyrgyz law and officially prosecuted, few kidnappers have been condemned. In fact, during the last 20 years there have been only two resolutions.

The most recent sentence it was, a year ago, by the end of October 2013. A 30 year-old man who had raped twice a 17-years old teen. It took place on the region of Bakai-Ata. He attempted to kidnap her in three failed occasions.

The first time he tried to abduct her was on August 27, 2012; but her parents went on time to rescue and release her. The same evening, just few hours after the first attempt, he, unsuccessfully, tried to kidnap her again. During the following weeks, he threatened her via sms texting in order to make her keep silent about the sexual aggression. Because of shame, She never told to her parents. But on September 9th 2012, he abducted the young girl again. This time, the kidnaper was able to retain his potential bride a couple of days in a cottage thanks to the collaboration of the family of the supposed groom. He raped her again. This is a usual way to sustain the forced marriage, arguing that it has been consummated, obviously by force. But, the insistence of the parents of the girl and their efforts for her release were filled at the midnight of Sept 11th 2012 when a local Police squad entered at the captor’s house, arrested him and freed the girl.

During the trial of this case, the judge –a lady, not a man– asked to the accused: “Would you be disposed to apologize to the victim and marry her?”. Or even worst, during the trial, the victim was asked to not continue the process: “They are offering to you a wealthy family, a good mother in law, a handsome husband, why are you doing that? Why do you need to continue with this process?”

Munara Beknazarova, a women rights activist and head of Open Line Foundation, who has been following this case and its long and bizarre process at the Court says that this is a clear example of how socially accepted is this practice on the Kyrgyz people. Finally the perpetrator of the kidnap and aggression was sentenced to five years of imprisonment. But he only was charged of kidnapping. The medical examiners were never able to probe the sexual aggression.

While the practice remains prevalent in many regions of Kyrgyzstan, everyday citizens, activists and professionals are now speaking out against the practice of kidnapping women for marriage.

Kuban Kurmanbekovich, 32, is a nomadic shepherd from Talastan, near the Kochkor region. Although they now live in a remote area, he met his wife Elnura Amasilieva, 32, at college. They have three children: Arsen, Adelina and Esen. During the USSR era, Kuban studied Agricultural Engineering, while Elnura studied Economics. They met in a disco, fell in love and married.

"I do not want anyone to kidnap my daughter. Kidnapping is not a Kyrgyz tradition. It's just a pretext made by evil people", he says.

Dr. Turganbubu Orunbaeva, a medical doctor and feminist activist, has spent the last twenty years on the vanguard of eradicating the bride kidnapping tradition in her region. She conducts training sessions and conferences for teens, the Islamic authorities, police and abducted women. She also offers her support to women who have been victims of any kind of vulnerable situation or gender violence through her association called 'Bakubat,' which means 'comfort' in the Kyrgyz language.

Professor Kleinbach, an emeritus doctor from the University of Philadelphia, has been investigating bride kidnapping for the last twenty years. He says that even some of his students at the university fear being kidnapped. Some of the young ladies wear false wedding rings as a safeguard against abduction, arguing that they are already married.

However, some creative couples have used the practice to their advantage. One young man even kidnapped his bride at her behest.

After several years dating Mariam, Solo was still not able to save enough money for their wedding. The dowry set by Mariam’s father was simply too expensive for him to afford. A few weeks before their marriage, Solo kidnapped Mariam at her request in order to avoid paying the dowry. “We were in love,” the two said. “This was the only way for us to overcome Mariam’s father’s price on his daughter’s hand in marriage.”