Origins of Takla

Almost all color variations exist in USA

Origins of Takla

Postby Kurt Gürsu » Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:48 pm

Here I wanted to talk about the origin of the Turkish Tumblers a little, known as Takla, Taqla or Taklacı by the Turkish fanciers:

Takla is originated from Central Asia, close to where Mongolia is today. They were kept by the nomad Turks over a vast region that today lies in Siberia, Western China and Kazakhstan (Turkish origin of some Russian breeds comes from here) but, they appeared in the Middle East in the tenth century as nomadic Turkish soldiers moved into this region. Finding the Middle East more pleasant than the cold steppes of Central Asia Turks remained in this area.
Takla was kept for the Sultans' pleasure throughout the history. The Turkish nomads expended westward under the leadership of the sultans and brought takla everywhere they advanced. As the Seljuks took Iran and Iraq, capturing Baghdad, the capital of the old Abbasid Empire, in 1055, the takla was introduced to Middle East. As a result the Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Armenian and many other known tumblers of today (some known as coop tumblers) surfaced.
The first Seljuk troops were nomads who brought all their lives with them-families, dwellings (tents), animals and belongings. For this group of people the takla was almost like gold. They would trade with it between each other. Seljuks were soon raiding into the Byzantine Empire, which lay to the west of Iran in Anatolia. The Byzantine defeat in the great battle of Malazgirt (Manzikert) in 1071 opened the doors of Anatolia and Europe for the Turks and their prized tumblers.
For five hundreds years, after the fall of Istanbul (Constantinople) the Turks occupied the Balkans and the Eastern Europe (up to Vienna). At this time many Eastern European tumbler breeds started to surface. As these countries got their independence from the Ottoman empire and Russians converted most of this area to Eastern Block, these breeds lost their identities and went through many changes to become what most of us know as European and Russian tumbler of variations. In Europe, through many genetic crossings these breeds started to look very different and many other kinds were obtained for show purposes.

The difference and the special part of Takla comes here. It is an original breed.
Though there are many color variations as you can see from the pictures, the genetics is not an acceptable form of pigeon keeping for traditional fanciers of this kind. It is said "we are not dog fanciers to create poodles and strange little animals who don't resemble what they are supposed to be. Fanciers breed for performance, beauty, intelligence within tradition.

However, I don't want to be misunderstood here. When saying genetics is not an acceptable form, I am really talking about making changes to established original breeds. In reality, genetics have been a great part of the pigeon culture in Turkey. Various breeds and colors came up with intensive genetic studies and practices over thousands of years, well before Mendel. If looked closely, most of the things today's genetic experts come up with really existed for many hundreds of years and none was found by accident. While today we have difficulties explaining the behavior of certain colorations or stabilizing so called new colorations, they were mastered by old fanciers. Through their practices breeds like Oriental Frills (Hünkari) were created long before the terminology of genetics was created. Imagine how difficult it might have been for breeders at the time to come up with breeds, which today, many fanciers utilize their qualities to create new breeds. I am sure, working with rock pigeons to come up with new breeds was a different experience.
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Kurt Gürsu
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Location: San Jose, California
Breeds: Takla, Kelebek

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