Donkeys are still a vital mode of transportation in Anatolia but only in the smaller villages, so it is a joy to see ‘donkey culture’ thriving in Mardin.

As regular readers know, this writer has been associated with Turkey one way or another for over forty years and remembers a time when donkeys were even seen on the streets of Istanbul – well in the outer suburbs at any rate.

They are still a vital mode of transportation in Anatolia but only in the smaller villages, so it is a joy to see ‘donkey culture’ thriving in Mardin.

Donkeys are for hire to take your heavy market shopping home.

Although the owner above looks as if he is fed up with waiting for custom.

The second photo shows another donkey delivery service who has managed to find a load, albeit a small one.

donkey delivery service Mardin

There is even a saddle maker still hand-making heavy saddles for donkeys and horses.

saddle maker still hand-making heavy saddles for donkeys and horses in Mardin

Best of all, the ever-innovative Mardin Belediye has its own team of donkey rubbish collectors.

The narrow, steep streets of old Mardin preclude the use of any form of motorised vehicle so donkeys are used.

Apparently the donkeys know their routes and sometimes go round alone, with householders popping out to deposit rubbish in their panniers.

Furthermore, the donkeys are retired after a given period and put out to grass once they’ve served their term in old Mardin.

Altogether now “Aaaaaaaaah bless.”

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