Away from Crimea

Crimean Tatars constitute a significant part of Eskişehir's population. Crimean and Caucasian refugees establish the first immigrant villages in the region. Çerkez Çukurhisar village, which was established on the Alpu Plain which has fertile soil, is one of these settlements. Crimean Tatars, Nogai, Circassians and Pomaks produce wheat, barley,and sugar beet on the plain. The elderly see farming as a lifestyle inherited from their ancestors. However, as young people prefer to work in cities, the population of the village is decreasing.

Kemal Tatlıdil, of Crimean Tatar origin, is farming in Çerkez Çukurhisar. He is 76 years old and a graduate of primary school. In addition to its own fields, he also works on the fields of families who migrated to the city. Kemal Tatlıdil's grandfather migrated from Crimea in 1890 to Romania, an Ottoman land at that time. His father Halil was born there in 1913. The family migrated for the second time in 1922 and settled in Anatolia.

Kemal Tatlıdil married Nadire of Tatar origin in 1968. For the newlyweds, they built a three-roomed house in the courtyard, which is called "kora" in Tatar. They shared their lives with family elders in the common living space they call “aşkana”.

Kemal and Nadire Tatlıdil have five daughters. After their daughters graduated from the primary schoold, they sent them to the city with their grandmothers to let them continue studying further. Kemal Bey says that he has been farming since he was fourteen and there is nobody left to take care of his fields after him.