‘The Kangal Dog is valued for its courage and strength, its loyalty to the shepherd and its devotion to the animals in its charge....’
A rare breed of livestock guardian, the Kangal Dog is regarded in Turkey as a national treasure, a cultural icon, which has even appeared on the country’s postage stamps. As a resident of Istanbul you may have noticed the Kangal trait of a dark face mask on many of the mixed breed street dogs, but out in the countryside in their own territory you will see the true Kangals, bred for centuries to work with flocks and herds.
This talk, illustrated with slides, will introduce you to aspects of Turkish history and culture you may never have considered. It will cover the origins of the Kangal Dog and how it developed its unique physical and mental characteristics to ideally fit its traditional role as a livestock guardian. We also look at its new roles in Turkey and in other countries, discover what it’s like to own a Kangal, learn something of the legal position concerning dogs in general in Turkey, and, finally, speculate about the Kangal’s future. Whether you are a dog lover or not this talk will widen your knowledge of Turkey and its culture.
© International Women of Istanbul 2017