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Nomadic Gypsies and their culture in south east of Anatolia (Turkey) provided the impetus for my photographic project. At this cities Gypsies live with Kurds. Gypsies call themselves "Kurd Domlari" (Kurd Dom)
Today, there are some Gypsy villages and communities in the South East of Anatolia. Some also live in the cities and have become an integral part of urban life. Other Gypsies are nomadic and either travel in wagons of cars, or they ride on horses.
The Dom in Turkey are called as Cingene, Kipti, Pos¸a (in Eastern Anatolia), Mirti (in Hakkari, Mardin, Siirt and South part of Van), Abdal (K. Maraş), Dom (Van, Hakkari), Gevende (Adıyama) Kocer, Arabaci (the ones who use horse carriages) etc., or with the pejorative “esmer vatandas¸” (“brunet citizen”)(Edirne).
In the language
spoken by the Dom people in Turkey, you can encounter words from some Turkish dialects spoken in Anatolia, from Kurdish or Greek. The language of the traveller groups (Gypsies call Domari) in Anatolia is obviously assimilated, so Domari language is mixed with Kurdish, Turkish, Persian or Arabic words.
I started this project in 2005 and will return every year to continue it. Aim of my project is to create Nomadic Gypsies lifestyle and their ability to survive in a rough environment at the south east of Anatolia. My interest is not in the romantic point of view about the Nomadic Dom (Kurdish Dom), but in the realities of daily life for them by Photography.
Middle East Gypsies
KEMAL VURAL TARLAN Social Documentary Photographer
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