A legendary breed... the Kangal Dog
It is no wonder that the Kangal Dog has been declared a Turkish National Treasure, and its export is legally restricted.
A trip to the Sivas-Kangal region of Turkey is like a stepping back in time. There, the "koylu" (village people) maintain a simple, subsistence lifestyle based on animal husbandry, as they have for thousands of years. However, the nomadic peoples that once roamed the plateau region have largely settled into villages, scattered across the sparse landscape.
They are wonderfully friendly people. The hospitality of rural Turks toward strangers is legendary; however, it is especially humbling to meet people willing to share everything, even when they have little to share. The people of Sivas-Kangal invariably welcomed us into their homes, served us cool ayran (yoghurt drink) or tea, and fed us fresh bread and sheep's cheese. It is easy to see why these fine folks value their Kangal Dogs so highly, and take such pride in them. Aside from a few crops grown for family use and the market, most of the food, clothing, and income of the villagers is obtained from their sheep. And thus their livelihood depends in large part upon their valuable Kangal Dogs.
(more history and subtopics coming....!)