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Abstract


An Example of Erecting Headstones in Anatolia: The Headstones of Hz. Ökkeş and A Recent Approach for Headstones
The Turks have been living on a wide area throughout history. They have had a long-established culture and taken their own cultures with them wherever they go as they keep them alive even after centuries. Hz. Ökkeşiye (Ukkaşe) mausoleum located in the town of Nurdağı, Gaziantep, the distance of which is 67 km to Gaziantep and 62 km to Kahramanmaraş; and the mountain, ancestry, tree and stone cults have still been existing quite livingly. Hz. Ökkeş, who has been believed to be one of the companions of Hz. Muhammed and was heralded with Heaven as he had seen the prophethood seal; is a beloved figure by the common folk and almost all of the households have a son named Ökkeş. There is a close link between stone and ancestry cults. The grave cult of the Turks, along with ancestry cult, has survived with minor variations for ages. Specially, various rituals have been performed around the graves of sainted figures. One of the foremost and most disputable ones are, undoubtedly, the shapeless stones, named headstones, which were erected towards the east and north directions of the graves. The headstones, the first examples of which were noticed in Bronze Age, are known to have been erected widely on cult centers and hero cairns between the 6th-13th centuries. Although erecting headstones tradition is presumed to be dead in our day, it virtually keeps on existing in Anatolia. There are hundreds of headstones (obelisks) around the mausoleum of Hz. Ökkeş in Nurdağı, Gaziantep. The functions of these obelisks are pretty much the same compared with the headstones erected in Gokturk Period.

Keywords
Headstone, erecting stone on stone, hero, Hz. Ökkeş, faith.


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