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Visits by Pomaks

The Pomaks, one of the ethnic communities that immigrated to Turkey, meet at a traditional fair held in Pehlivankoy (Kirklareli) every year. The Pehlivankoy (Pavli) Fair, the 105th of which was held in 2014, is the only fair of the Thracian peninsula today. There were 23 more animal and commodity fairs in Thrace during the Republican period. However, they disappeared in the last 20 years. One of the most important reasons why the Pehlivankoy fair has been able to survive is the special interest of Pomaks in this fair. Held between the 18th and the 22nd of September every year, this traditional fair also includes the Pomak Cultural events. The Pomak visitors coming from various settlements of Turkey and particularly from Bulgaria meet and have fun at this fair. Every year, the fair is also attended by the members of the Bulgarian Pomak Institute; the inhabitants of Breznitsa, Golsadelcef (its ancient Turkish name: Nevrokop); the Balgarski Izvor Village, Teteven, Lovech; and various Pomak folk dance groups coming from Bulgaria. Tikvenik (the traditional Pomak dessert) and the traditional chickpea bread of the Pomak culture (Kravay) are sold on many stands during the fair. In addition, the inhabitants of a large number of surrounding Pomak settlements also attend to the fair. The primary Pomak settlements are Katranca and Btiytikmandira (Babaeski); Sultan^ah, Yagmurca, Sazlimalkof, and Ba^agil (Uzunkoprti); Ta§h (Ltileburgaz); §algamli and Btiytikdani^mend (Hayrabolu); Suba^i (Merif); and Ku^tepe (Pehlivankoy). With each passing day, there is growing interest by the visitors who come from various places of Turkey to watch and photograph this cultural event in Pehlivankoy.

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