Turkey as a cross-section of many various cultures and civilizations is a territory where many different belief and ethnical communities have been living together. Some of the cities especially significant with their cultural abundance that protected for centuries. Kars, as a frontier city of Eastern Anatolia, is one of the most important cities as an example of these ones.
Located on the boarder of Turkey and Armenia, Kars is an exemplar as a cultural mosaic where people belonged to different ethnicity and belief origin as people of Azeri, Terekeme, Malakan, Karapapak, Zaza, Turks, Kurds and Alevis live together in peace for thousands year.
A Project which examined the culture of living together in Kars by Toplumsal Araştırma ve Ozgun Dusun Dernegi (Social Research and Original Thinking Association) is completed. A documentary named as “Story of The Life Experiences In The Garden Of Life, Kars: Coexistence In The Frontier Town” promotes the living together pattern of Kars in the Project that named as “From a Common Past To Living Together in Our City: Kars Project.”
Toplumsal Arastirma ve Ozgun Dusun Dernegi projects to the life in together of different ethnical and belief communities in Kars based on the idea “One of the important route of right comprehending or correct knowledge of a region begins from the tracing of the story of lives.”
In the scope of the Project, that supported by EU, documentary and clips for one minutes for social media prepared to enlightening the life of the different ethnical and belief groups in Kars. Through of them it is emphasized the theme and to make them visible of “we are together with our differences” by reflection of the elements belonged to the different cultures in Kars.
KARS: AN EASTERN ANATOLIAN CULTURAL MOSAIC
With this Project, it aimed to provide peace culture instead of hate speech. While the cultural values of the different ethnical groups in Kars presented in the documentary and clips, the different elements that formed the culture of Kars also manifested.
Frontier city Kars offers a “pattern for living together” with this aspect. Having witnessed the stories of those who have lived in the “garden of life”, Kars contains the examples for living together of different ethnic and belief groups.
KARS IS SIMILAR TO THE UNITED NATIONS!
The names reflecting the cultural richness of Kars have succeeded in bringing together different religious and cultural beliefs under the same roof.
The opinion leaders of the region who stated Kars as “Summary of Turkey” notice the living in peace and unity of the different faith and ethnic structures for many years. Kars, where many ethnic groups live in kinship relations, offers a similarity to United Nations with its warm people despite of cold climate.
Ethnic and cultural groups live together in Kars without building walls or borders. Marriages and intertwined lives have brought ethnic groups and cultures closer together. Despite the fact that different ethnic origins, beliefs and cultural groups live together, nobody questions another because of their belief or culture.
Alevi and Sunni villages, neighboring Kars, live in peace. Azeri, Terekeme, Kurds and Turks in the city continue to live together in solidarity without highlighting differences of ethnicity, strengthening the bonds of unity and friendship.
Ismet Konak, who has carried out researches on the cultural richness and coexistence culture of Kars, makes the following assessment about the Project named as “Story of Those Who Lived in the Garden of Life: Living Together in the Frontier City” by Toplumsal Arastirma ve Ozgun Dusun Dernegi (Association of Social Research and Original Thinking): “As you know, Kars has a different color and it is like a mysterious garden with fragrant flowers. In this project, we aimed to reflect the historically and culturally multi-identity texture of the city. In this context, we tried to convey the life stories of portraits of different ethnic origins to the audience / readers. I think we contributed to the construction of a common future in Kars.”