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European Journal

Turkey: The Pigeon Breeders

With names like Kelebec and Bursa Roller, Turkey’s roller pigeons are renowned as acrobats of the air. Breeding them is a national pastime, and its enthusiasts often invest small fortunes.

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The rollers turn somersaults, perform breathtaking nosedives and clap with their wings. Their keepers have perfected the technique of training them for such aerial acrobatics. It takes patience and persistence. The Turkish pigeon breeders coddle and care for their ‘little doves’ - and command steep prices for them at auction. Unusually flamboyant specimens can fetch several thousand euros.