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Ezogelin Barak Culture Center

The grave of Ezo Gelin lies in the village of Dokuzyol, 12 km northeast of the Kayacık Dam Reservoir. 

Ezo Gelin was an Anatolian woman who had an arranged marriage and left her home village as a bride to live across the border in Syria. She missed her home very much for the rest of her life, and on 24 September 1999, her remains were brought back with ceremony from her grave in Syria to her village of Dokuzyol. Her former home here was turned into a museum: the Ezo Gelin Barak Culture Center and Museum. 

Ezo Gelin’s grave is now in the garden of the 2-storey village house museum that is decorated in the traditional Barak (a Türkmen clan) style.

WHO WAS EZO GELIN?

The story begins in Uruş Köyü, a village in Gaziantep’s Oğuzeli district. Zöhre Bozgeyik, the real name of the woman who became known as Ezo Gelin, was born here in 1909. She grew into a beautiful young woman who had many suitors. Just as she was known for her beauty, in the neighbouring village there was a young man renowned for his voice.  He was Şido Hanefi of Belendi, who stole the hearts of many girls with his singing and playing of the saz (a type of stringed instrument). The pairs’ fate was sealed when they met at a wedding party.  Following a year of goings and comings of matchmakers, and negotiations by the families, it was decided that the two would marry.  However, this would be according to the traditional arrangement called berdel – “bride exchange”, by which a relative of Hanefi would marry Zöhre’s brother, so that neither family would pay a “bride price”. 

Ezo Gelin’s first marriage had to end after just 17 months when her brother and his wife separated – such was the rule of the arranged marriage contract. Her second marriage was also an arranged one, this time to a man across the border in Syria. She was very homesick, and after a time she contracted tuberculosis. She said, “If I die, bury me on the mound in Bozhüyük village - I couldn’t look my fill upon Turkey in my lifetime – at least let my grave have a view of it.” To fulfill her wish, after she died in 1952, her husband Memey moved her grave from the Lüle village cemetery to the top of the Bozhöyük mound. The sad fate of Ezo Gelin, who died young without seeing her home again, became legendary. Her story was repeated everywhere, and folksongs written about her were sung throughout the region from her home village to Syria.

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