Preservation of Livelihood of Sarikecili Nomads, Turkey


Sarikecililer is one of the oldest nomadic pastoralist groups in Anatolia. They spend the winters in the South of Turkey, in Mersin region, and the summers in the plateaus of Central Anatolia, in Konya-Karaman(Seydisehir) region.

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Basic Data
NamePreservation of Livelihood of Sarikecili Nomads, Turkey
SiteThe path nomads use between Mersin and Konya-Karaman (Seydisehir)
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Specific CommoditiesWater
Pasture Land
Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected PopulationNot known how many Sarikecili settled down before
Start Date2004
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Forestry and Water Works, Forestry Management Directorates, the gendarme, the heads of villages
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSarkecililer Association for Solidarity and Mutual Aid (Sarikecilileri Yasatma ve Dayanisma Dernegi), Water Parliament of Turkey (Turkiye Su Meclisi), Association for Nature (Doga Dernegi)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
OtherThe decrease in pastureland

where Sarikecili people can pasture their herds due to increased urbanization and developmentalist projects
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherLoss of income, loss of the living space, oppression to make Sarikecililer settle down, forcing them to pay several penalties (some illegal) due to their use of land because of their nomadic way of life
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Development of AlternativesSarikecili nomads demand a migration map so that they can migrate by shifting routes, and an agreement with government body about where to camp. They want to be able to graze their livestock without damaging the forests and continue their nomadic life style without pressures.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Sarikecili nomads built a strong network with other EJOs, especially with the ones against Hydroelectric Power Plants demanding water distribution justice, and participated in the organization of the Big Anatolian March to claim the Rights of Nature in cooperation with other EJOs. They also applied to the UNESCO to ensure the recognition of their culture, livelihood and their way of nomadic life which enabled the acceptance of their existence by the Ministry of Culture and the general public.
Meta Information
ContributorIrmak Ertor
Last update08/04/2014