Tie tree

The following story is collected from my friend. He lived in Turkey for the most part of his life. He talks about a Turkish tradition in this collection. This interview is done on phone. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A: “Do you know any interesting traditions in Turkey?”


B: “There was a tree near my grandmother’s home which was placed in a cemetery. People, who could not have kids, used to go there and tie a rope around the tree. They assume it will help them with having kids. Then if you happen to have a kid in the future, you go back to tree and offer free food to people around as an act of kindness.  “


A:” Do you have a personal experience?”


B: “I wanted to go to university and was stressed because of the coming exams. I went to “Aya Yorgi” Church in Buyuk Ada (An island close to Istanbul). The date was 23 of April, because that is the day it is believed to work best. I went to the top of the island and found the tree everyone believes to have magic powers. I was told, I have to walk all the way to top without getting help from anyone or anything. When I was in the top, I tied a rope to the tree, which is connected to a spool. Then I walked all the way to the sea, while holding the spool. There were a lot of people doing the same thing.”


A: “Did you get in the university you wanted?”


B: “Yes”


A: “Do you believe, you got in to university because of this?”


B: “I don’t know. I just wanted to give a try.”


B: “Is it a religious activity since tree is located in a church.”


A: “It is a tradition in Turkey. It is not connected to religion, people from any religion can go there. You can see Muslim, Christian and Jewish people there.”