Turkey’s ancient practice of pigeon raising sees new life in quarantine

In most Turkish towns, it’s not unusual to see older men climbing up to their pigeon coops after the evening commute.

Most roosts are nestled into the eaves of an apartment building, or tucked in the back behind a family home. These bird enthusiasts like to open the coop doors at the end of the day and let their charges stretch their wings, flying together in a wide arc over the rooftops as the sun sets behind them.

“You need to see them as a piece of yourself,” said Yalçın Karcı, who raises a brood of 150 pigeons in a quiet Istanbul suburb alongside his 7-year-old son, Kaman.


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