This blog post is dedicated to Robert A.
I’ve been in Istanbul for almost a full day and aside from persistent jet lag things are going great. My hostel is located seconds from the Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar. It fascinates me how the Roman world and the Islamic word of the Sultans have combined into a spectacular city. The people here are very proud of their traditional history, how could you not be, surrounded by such amazing monuments?
It is this rich history that led Murat Özveri, whom I had the pleasure of meeting today, to start to revive Traditional Turkish archery in 2004. The Traditional Turkish Archery group Tirendaz was founded in 2008. Traditional Turkish archery has been on the rise for the last few years and interest continues to climb. It is because of this enthusiasm and national pride that the Turkish Government along with the support of Tirendaz to rebuild the Okçuluk Tekkesi (translation: archery lodge), which was the military archery training, centre for the Ottoman Empire. All that was left of this magnificent building was a crumbling staircase. At the end of May the Prime Minister will officially open the building. While I will not be here for that I will be attending the Tirendaz’s traditional archery practice tomorrow before the Okçuluk Tekkesi is closed in preparation for the Opening Ceremony. On Sunday I will attend the Tirendaz re-enactment Archery Demonstration. I don’t think I need to tell you how excited I am by that! These fellows have put a lot of effort and research in their Country’s archery and the role it played in creating the Ottoman Empire. Be sure the questions and quest for knowledge will be flying as fast as the arrows.
After practice tomorrow I will hopefully meet Cemal, who is one of Turkey’s Horse Archers, at his barn. While I doubt I will be getting on a horse, I am delighted to make Cemal’s acquaintance, watch his skills and buzz him with questions.
Stay tuned for photos and videos of this event. Pictures of the Okçuluk Tekkesi will be posted on the Lykopis Archery Facebook page. I cannot believe that by the time you read this I will actually be in this incredible building and outdoor range.
Truly archery is a sport and art that brings people together to share knowledge and skills.
Patricia aka Archer Abroad