Turkish baseball attracts both young, old during winter

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

By Mesut Varol and Ozkan Bilgin

VAN, Turkey (AA) – People in eastern Turkey enjoy a baseball game known as "topa garane" during the winter.

The game, also known as "guhsegi” and “topa kille” in Van, Sirnak and Hakkari provinces, attracts the young and old alike.

It is played by two teams of six players in a snow-covered area with a stick and a ball made of horsehair and is one of the favorite games of locals passed down from generation to generation.

First, the two teams of at least six people are selected. There is one player from each team at the point where the shot is made.

While one of the players throws the ball in the air, the opponent tries to send the ball the farthest they can by hitting it with the stick.

Players of both teams then compete with each other to reach the target first and get the ball.

Residents of Gorundu, a neighborhood with a population of nearly 1,000 in Gevas district in Van province, also play the game in their free time in winter.

Ercan Tubtemur, a resident of the neighborhood, told Anadolu Agency they try to pass the traditional game on to future generations.

Recounting that in previous years, people used to play the game with a ball made from animal hair, Tubtemur said now tennis balls are used while playing the game.

"Villagers who wanted to have fun used to play this game in the past. It is only played in our village in our region. We learned it from our grandfathers and we try to keep it alive," he said.

"We pay attention to our traditional games. Our game is like baseball. The only difference is that there is no loser in the game. It is played for fun," he added.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan in Ankara