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For hundreds of years the pigeons have been a corner stone in Turkish culture.

From civilian to religious buildings, it is easy to see their place in this culture.Mostly placed under the over-hangs of buildings, the pigeon houses are miniature models of the buildings they sit on. The stone craftsmanship of these houses equal to the main building. In most instances, these model buildings are put on to sunny and unreachable parts of the building. These structures can be separated into two architectural classes: First class is a surface structure that does not stick out of the wall. They merely are holes on the surface of the building's walls and the small rooms for the birds to reside are built behind the walls.

A sample of this is the picture beside.

The second class is made of more of an artistic style house, or I should say palaces.This type is like the picture below are small models of the building they sit on.Without any differences to the building, these structures are built with same detail. Brick, stone, wood, or marble whatever the building was made with, the pigeon house was made with the same material.

Why, one would ask.

The reason of pigeons’ importance in this culture comes from hundreds of years ago. Before Turkey, before Ottomans or Seljuk's, before even Turks started to live in where Turkey lies today. Long before Turks became Muslim, the religion they had was something similar to Native American's religion with many gods that originate from nature and Earth.

This was centuries ego. At the time, one of the main beliefs of Shamanism was the soul of a dead person being carried to the gods by pigeons.This idea has carved a permanent place for the pigeons in the lives of Turks.Even after the conversion to Muslim religion, the tie between the pigeon and Turks stayed strong.

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Pigeon houses always found their places throughout Turkey on buildings regardless of the wealth of the owner. They are in most of the courtyards of the houses in eastern part of the country. You can run in to them on roof tops of apartment buildings or visiting the famous mosques, palaces, and bridges.

In Kayseri, Erzincan and surroundings, these structures take a different shape.They are built on top of columns or dead tree trunks. The picture below is from this region.

As a final note, keep it in mind these structures are put up for wild pigeons by people who have nothing to do with pigeon fancying.

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