Disiplinlerarası yaklaşımla bir kutsal mekânın oluşumu, peyzajı ve fonksiyonel özellikleri : Pir Hatip Ziyareti (Nusaybin)
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İnterdisipliner bir yaklaşımla (Antropoloji-Coğrafya) ortaya konan bu çalışmada Pir Hatip ziyareti ve çevresindeki, inanç, kültür ve gelenek değişkenleri üzerinden, ziyarete atfedilen değerler ile inançsal dünyaya ilişkin algılar ve uygulamalardan kültürel yapı ile ritüeller arasındaki bağın çözümlenmesi, mekânın oluşumunda coğrafi şartların etkinliği ve mekânın fonksiyonları ele alınmıştır. Yinekültürel peyzaj unsuru olarak Pir Hatip ziyaretini oluşturan coğrafi unsurların peyzaj ve kullanım özellikleri üzerinde dedurulmuştur Çalışmada saha gözlemlerinin yanında nitel araştırmaya dair kartopu yöntemiyle belirlenen 31 kişiden oluşan örneklemle derinlemesine görüşme yapılmış ve elde edilen sonuçlar yorumlanmıştır. Çalışmada coğrafi ve antropolojik bakışla mekânın ritüel, sağaltım, kültürel bellek, rekreasyonel fonksiyonlarının yanında, kültürel aktarım aracı ve nirengi noktası gibi işlevleri ile fonksiyonel etki sahasına sahip olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Pir Hatip ziyareti üzerinden denilebilir ki, sosyo-ekonomik yaşamın bir parçası olarak kutsal mekânlar, inançları kültüre uyarlama aracı olarak kullanılmalarının yanında, insan-çevre arasındaki ilişkilerin farklı bir boyutunu göstermeleri açısından da önem arz etmektedirler.In an interdisciplinary approach (Anthropology-Geography), based on the Pir Hatip Ziyaret Place and its surrounding environment, belief, culture and tradition variables, this study focuses on the analysis of the values attached to the Pir Hatip Ziyaret Place and the link between cultural structure and rituals basing on the perceptions and practices of religious world, and the influence of geographical conditions on the construction and the functions of the place. Also, it addresses the landscape and functional features of the geographical elements constituting Pir Hatip Ziyaret Place as a cultural landscape component. In this study, along with field observation activities, in-depth interviews were conducted with 31 people who were selected by snowball sampling method for qualitative research purposes, and the outcomes were interpreted. With a geographical and anthropological point of view, the study found that the Place serves as a cultural transmission mean and a triangulation point and an area of influence where it performs these functions as well as its ritual, healing, cultural memory, recreational functions. Based on the example of the Pir Hatip Ziyaret Place, it can be said that sacred places as a a part of socioeconomic life are important in displaying a different dimension of human-environment relations as well as their being used as a mean to harmonize the beliefs with the culture The phenomenon of religion is a factor having effects on almost all aspects of the life in the societies in terms of social, intellectual and mood states. For ages, human beings have attributed sanctity to some places and objects in line with their faiths as a manifestation of their reasons of being and mostly, have found concrete ways to express their religious beliefs by using these places and objects. Based on this concretization, social scientists studying on religious beliefs have developed different theories, and each discipline has tended to make a definition according to its own field. Some anthropologists like Geertz have defined religion in a more secular manner as a system of symbols which regulates and handles the perception of people on the general order of the existence (1973:90) or as a reflection of a human being’s attitude towards or deep commitment to the invisible on the social relations and a system of faith and worship for what they consider to have divine authority (Bettany, 2005:22) while authors from other disciplines including theology have defined it as a life style which determines and disciplines all mental functions as well as attitudes and behaviours of a human being based on thought and belief (belief in creator) (Gündüz, 2016:18-21;Kılıç, 2015:9- 14). While the present study aims to analyse the connection between cultural structure and beliefs mainly on the basis of the practices related to the places of visit with an anthropological understanding, the impacts of geographical conditions on the faith and cultural elements and of faithbased practices on the landscape of the place are emphasized with respect to the cultural and faith geography. Being a different consequence of the human-environment interaction in terms of geography, sanctuaries exist with the cultural values attributed to the places rather than their outstanding physical environment conditions. In other words, this study aims to address the concept of sacred place within the framework of an anthropological approach, which attempts to explain human with its culture and values, along with a geographical perspective, which attempts to understand and explain a place from almost all aspects. In doing so, the emergence of a sacred place with the attribution of several functions within the framework of daily life practices of the society of individuals as well as the differentiation process of the place from the surrounding environment along with its functions in the daily life will be elaborated. Attempts will be made to reveal the relations of location and accessibility (according to settlements, social and economic areas of activity) with the geographical (lithological, vegetative and economic activities) factors with respect to both functions and differentiation process. In other words, landscape and usage features of the geographical elements constituting Pir Hatip ziyaret place as a cultural landscape element will be highlighted. The concept of sacred place will be interpreted within the framework of humanenvironment interaction by considering the role of geographical elements along with faith and social values in the emergence of sacred places and their functions. Conceptual and Theoretical Framework It can be argued that definitions concerning religion and its functions vary by disciplines, and some disciplines claim that current life practices and functions have created the religion while some claim that the religion has created functions and culture. However, this is not the focus of the present study. No matter how the phenomenon of religion is defined, the accepted understanding is that the practices related to religious beliefs and traditions connect many cultural patterns to one another and influence them in different ways. This influence shapes all aspects of the social life as well as place and perception of place and thus, brings forth the concept of “sacred place”. Eliade states that the sacred is generally defined on the basis of the unholy in the belief systems and anything that a human being organizes, feels, confronts or likes can gain sanctity (Eliade, 2000: 27-36). According to Durkheim, all the known religions have one common feature: religions accept the classification of real or imaginary things into two classes by human beings as a preliminary truth and this is explained with the terms of “sacred” and “profane”. Sacred objects do not consist of only beings which are named such as the lord and the spirit. A rock, a tree, a water spring, a small stone or a piece of tree can be sacred (Durkheim, 2005: 56). The concepts of sanctity and sacred place, in particular, have aroused interest in those studying cultural geography and geography of belief as well as anthropologists and religious historians, and different definitions have been made. According to the post-modern view, the spiritual dimension is attributed to a place by the believers depending on the cultural structure (Park, 2004: 19-23). Yi Fu Tuan emphasizes sacred places with the concepts of difference, afterlife, orderliness and integrity by stating that the “sacred” disturbs and interrupts the routine and is beyond the cliché. In this respect, according to Tuan, it is not possible to find precise and clear definitions which completely reveal the sanctity of a place. Just as different criteria are used by different faiths in the selection of the holy and sacred places, criteria may change within the same belief system throughout the history (Yi Fu Tuan, 1978). Thus, it can be argued that the borders of sacred places, which play key roles in many belief systems, are sometimes limited to the tomb of the person to whom sanctity is attributed and sometimes expand to larger area. If it is necessary to exemplify, while buildings are constructed to determine the borders of sacred places in the Nusayri belief (Türk, 2005: 159; Çağımlar, 2002), in our research field, these borders are determined by the surrounding trees. The sacred is known as the opposite pole of what is known and recognized and what is daily and ordinary in all societies without exception. What is accepted as sacred can be a natural object, an article, a place, a plant, a human being or a virtual being (Erginer, 2003: 509). According to many belief systems, elements of the nature such as mountain, river, tree, rock etc. are included in the sacred places along with human constructions such as temples, cities and tombs (Sopher, 1967:49; Al Faruqi, Sopher, 1974:66). Out of them, the ones covering both natural and human elements stand out. Although the sacred places of visit have differences on the level of faith and practice, they have been encountered in many cultures from the archaic societies to the modern one and they have existed in all eras (Eliade 1971: 367-371). Significance The study is significant in that it reveals the functions of the sacred place named after Pir Hatip as well as their place in the daily life practices and human-environment interaction from anthropological and geographical perspectives within the definitions and theories of different disciplines studying the faith, existence of sacred places and their functions. In particular, the findings related to the functions attributed to the sacred places due to sentimental values as well as the functions concerning the daily life practices and the attempt to explain them on the basis of human-environment interaction make this study significant within the existing literature. Method In line with the specified objectives, the study is based on field observations and interpretation of the information obtained through qualitative fieldwork. To this end, persons above a specific age were contacted and their approaches to the sacred place in question and the changes in these approaches were examined along with their life cycles. During the research, interview forms containing open-end questions were used and 22 participants were contacted. The participants were aged 60 and older while their education statuses ranged from the illiterates to primary school, secondary school, high school and university graduates. The numbers of male and female participants were equal. Although a goal-oriented approach was adopted during sampling in terms of age, snowball sampling was used during the fieldworks as a result of the orientations from the people. On the other hand, nine individuals between the ages of 20 and 30, who visited the sacred place at least once, were interviewed later with the aim of revealing the differences between the generations. The findings were interpreted by using the methods of participant observation, in-depth interview, visual documentation and oral history studies. Besides these, the thematic visual materials of the field consisting of maps were prepared with ArcGIS /ArcMap10.3 package program based on Google Earth while photos were taken during the fieldworks. Findings and Discussion On the basis of the values attributed to the sacred place located in the field of the present study by the local people, although there is not a completely common view, it can be argued that the sacred place belief plays an adaptive role in the society’s sense of protection in terms of protection and sustainability. It is beyond doubt that faith and cultural features played distinctive roles in the embodiment of this belief since economic and social concerns and expectations of the people have always been at the forefront. All these show that the developments in technological, social, economic, political and cultural spheres have effects on the belief systems, and they are shaped within them, gain different values and forms and persist. It has been observed that rules related to the rituals of the sacred place become flexible in parallel to the changes in time and living conditions. This shows that sacred places play a key role in the adaptation of the beliefs to the cultural structures. As long as the humankind exists, beliefs and values will be reflected on the places. Based on the example of Pir Hatip ziyaret place, it can be argued that all changes and developments in the life of a human being have paved the way for the emergence of new places adapted to the existing belief system. This is because of the fact that each change in the life will result in new desires and a place will be needed to attribute the new values. The Pir Hatip ziyaret place shows that sacred places as concrete elements of cultures and, in particular, belief systems reflecting on the space are distinguished from the other places as indispensable parts of the socio-economic life and create an area of influence with more than one functions. Based on our example, it can be stated that it is highly inadequate to generalize all the places considered to be sacred by the people and assess them with only one function. In addition to the functions, which are related to the faith and resemble to one another, they are important since they show another dimension of the interaction between human and environment from a geographical perspective. What should not be overlooked at this point is that geographical elements play key roles in both the emergence of sacred places and their functions along with the characteristics of the social structure and faith. Geographical features such as location, topography, lithological structure, vegetation, hydrographic structure as well as transport systems are determinative in the emergence of sacred places as well as the creation of the hierarchical structure between them, their functions and the area of influence. This influence means that the geographical elements, which are absolute, are interpreted in different ways depending on the perceptions of human beings. This in turn shows that sacred places have an indispensable function in the determination and understanding of the human-environment interaction. As a consequence, from a geographical perspective, the process of a place to become sacred is striking since it sheds light on the role of faith in the attempt of the human to perceive and shape the environment. Based on this assessment, the findings obtained in the present study concerning the sacred places and specifically Pir Hatip ziyaret place can be summarized as follows: - It is difficult to precisely determine the belief system on which a sacred place like Pir Hatip ziyaret place emerged in Nusaybin Mardin which has been home to many religions and cultures throughout the history. However, it is apparent that the time has adapted it to the belief systems and cultural values. - The area where the ziyaret place is located does not have distinct geographical features in its neighbourhood, but it has been attributed sanctity, protected and differentiated. - Views about the ziyaret place and rules concerning the rituals are stretched in accordance with the changing conditions of the time and life, and harmony with the flow of the life is ensured. Due to the features specified in these two items, sacred places differ from the definitions given in the literature. - As it is seen in the example of Pir Hatip ziyaret place, the diversity resulting from changes and developments in the human life has been adapted to the existing belief system, and this has resulted in the emergence of new places or reshaping of the existing ones. - Although sacred places are different from other places within the space perception of the societies, they are not free from the practices of the daily life. They undertake functions related to not only faith and spirituality but also daily life. In this respect, they are parts of the daily life. It is appropriate to state that they are embedded with economic and cultural life. - From geographical and anthropological perspectives, it has been found out that sacred places have functional impact and multiple functions such as cultural transmission tool and benchmark in addition to such functions as ritual, therapy, cultural memory and recreation. - Location of the place and distance to the transport systems, in particular, are highly influential in the emergence and diversification of the functions. Also, it has been determined that the location and developments in the transport systems depending on the functions of the ziyaret place have impacts on the extent of the area of influence. - Sacred places have a quasi-autonomous nature when compared to the other places and thus, they are protected. This is a reality that can be observed in almost all sacred places. However, this study has shown that this autonomy does not mean impunity. They are not outside the daily life. - As sacred places play key roles in the rearrangement of the natural landscape, they are effective in the protection of the natural environment. However, the protection understanding here is not directly the protection of environment but is protection of the natural since it is sacred. In this aspect, sacred places properly represent a different dimension of the human-environment interaction. - Considering their place in the social memory and use as a cultural transmission tool, it is striking that they play key roles in the creation and maintenance of social identity as well as the development of the sense of ownership for the place.
SourceTurkish Studies (Elektronik)