Locals enter, exit village through door
Residents and visitors enter and leave the Oğulbeyli village, located in the İhsaniye district of the Aegean province of Afyonkarahisar, by opening and closing the door at the entrance of the village, continuing a centurial tradition.
The village was founded in 1886 by the Turkish migrants from Bulgaria and the “first villagers of Oğulbeyli” located a wooden entrance door and put walls around the village as measures to protect houses and animals.
In time, an iron sliding gate replaced a wooden door, but the tradition went on for decades.
“The one who comes, opens the door; the one who leaves, closes it,” Mehmet Şahin, a retired teacher living in the village, said. “I’ve known the door since my childhood. Back then it was wooden.”
The population of the village was only 25 over a century ago. Today it is 150, but in the summers, with the villagers coming back from the central Afyonkarahisar, the number increases to 450.
“This is an ancestral heritage left to us. We continue the tradition,” Mahir Sarıkaya, the head of the village, noted, but said they had to alter some rules to keep up with this day and age.
“The door used to be locked in previous times. But we do not do that now as there is dense traffic into and out of the village.”
Mustafa Demirli, a farmer and a shepherd, is also fond of the village’s door. “Once the door is closed, I am at ease that my animals cannot run away from the village,” he stressed.