Pigeon keeping trend provides auctions in Turkey’s Anatolia

Pigeon keeping trend provides auctions in Turkey’s Anatolia

ÇORUM - Anatolia News Agency
Pigeon keeping trend provides auctions in Turkey’s Anatolia

The pigeon and bird auction in Çorum becomes more ardent as the competition grows. Pigeons fly all over the room. AA photos

Owing to the tradition of keeping pigeons, a popular trend in the area, pigeon keepers in Çorum can buy and sell their pigeons in exclusive auction nights.

The best-fed and most well-kept pigeons can be valuable animals for their keepers, who bring them to the meeting places in boxes. People who give their time to look after and feed the pigeons sometimes compete to buy the birds they love during the auction. The auction becomes more passionate as the competition grows.

The buyers also test the pigeons’ talents such as flying and performing loops. The pigeons fly all over the room as the auction goes on. Later on, the feeders put their pigeons back into the cages.

The “looper” birds’ fees start from 10 Turkish Liras and can reach 10,000 liras. While the auction is a full-time job for some people, some of the locals visit the auction to get rid of the day’s stress.

Ali İhsan Benli, a pigeon feeder for 14 years, comes to Çorum from Merzifon every week to attend the pigeon auction nights.

“I have 26 different pigeon species in my home. I have been feeding pigeons since I was eight. This is a passion,” said Benli, 65.

“Some people think that feeding a pigeon is a hard task and it makes life harder,” Benli said, but he disagreed. “I only have to spend 20 or 30 liras per week on their feed. This is the only thing that I have to do for them. The important thing is to look after them in the best way that I can.

“In the old days, people gave away their cars to buy just one pigeon,” Benli said.

Another pigeon auction attendee, Ahmet Batum, said feeding pigeons was an interest for many people. According to him, an interest in feeding birds and a love of animals comes from the family. Batum attends all bird events that take place in Turkey and said he also tried to make his friends and family love animals and birds in the same way. “Once you get into it, you can never leave,” Batum said.

Two bird auctions per week

In Çorum there are two bird auctions per week, and Batum said they attracted lots of visitors from neighboring districts and cities. Sometimes Turkey hosts other bird and pigeon festivals. “I always attend those festivals and show my own birds and pigeons in those festivals,” he said.

Celal Boyacı, another pigeon feeder, carries his pigeons’ photographs with him all the time. “I always forget my stressful daily life with my pigeons,” he said. The bird auctions allow everyone to see what pigeons other people have got in their homes, said Boyacı.

“Instead of having bad friends, I prefer to feed pigeons. I have total of 30 pigeons and I think each of them have different characteristics,” added Boyacı.