- Submitted by: Sharon Egin, United Kingdom
- Submission Date: 05th Jan 2007
Nothing could have prepared me for my first visit to the Kozak mountains which are situated just off of Bergama. I was stunned by the natural beauty as I drove around the gentle curves of the pine clad mountain.
This place was lush and green with a wealth of natural springs and giant rocks were scattered all around.
From time to time we would past a shepherd herding his sheep or goats and were greeted with a wave and a smile on every occasion.
As you drive higher and higher into Kozak you pass the first of villages which continue all the way up and down again the other side.
The inhabitants still retain their traditional tribal Turkish culture. The mountain air, organic food and spring water mean a long and healthy life for the locals is not uncommon.
Even in Kozak you will find 2 thermal springs which are renowned for their health benefits and even some historical ruins in one village.
In the main they live of the land and a large part of their economy is the produce from the pine nut trees. These are extracted by hand by the village women in the Autumn.
Livestock and crops are another source of income and sadly also the giant rocks, which are now being dismantled for use as pavements in the surrounding Towns and Cities.
The Kozak plateau is also famous for its carpet weaving tradition and the high quality wool on wool carpets they produce.