The thought of nomadism disappearing from Munzur struck many people – particularly those older than forty – as tragic. “I love the mountains;” says Ecrim Varliel, “the wildlife, the flowers, the fresh alpine air….” He himself had stopped migrating several years earlier, due to certain family obligations, and he deeply regretted its absence from his life. He believes that living in the mountains helps create a strong connection to the natural world. That connection, he says, is a core element of the Alevi religion, and one that can only be understood by immersing oneself in nature, not by simply hearing or reading about its importance.

For more on the Alevi religion, and its relationship to the Munzur Valley, continue to the next page: Alevism in Munzur

Ekrem Varliel