Archery recognized as ancestral sport in Turkey is based on a very old roots.We wanted to take a closer look at archery, which is very common in Izmir and has many clubs and sports centers where you can study.
Archery, which dates back to the hunting days of man, is a common sport today. This sport, which develops arm and back muscles and eye coordination, was included in the Olympic program for the first time in the 1904 Summer Olympics and has been included in the programs continuously since 1972, and has become one of the most common sports with new facilities and developing technology. The International Archery Federation (FITA), which was established in 1931 and is still a member of 140 countries, is the largest authority in archery and manages one of the most popular sports in the world.
Before moving on to the history of archery in Anatolia, which Turks see as a traditional sport, let's briefly take a look at the materials used in archery.
The bows that are the basic material of archery are quite diverse. The most commonly used types are recurve bows with reel bows. Springs are made of fiber, wood, carbon or steel. The flexible material of the spring is made of solar rubber. This is called the Mirsin. The first known multi-piece bow was made by the Huns.
Arrows can be made of fiber, carbon, aluminum, wood or steel. The length and weight of the arrows are nowadays tied to certain standards. Arrows should be 60 to 71 centimeters long and weigh 20 to 28 grams. Behind the arrow are 3 feathers that direct the arrow.
The "target" that the arrow is supposed to hit is painted in five colors with circle lines. These colors are yellow, red, blue, black and white, respectively, from the center outwards. Each color strip is also divided into two. Thus, the target is numbered with numbers descending from 10 to 1 from the inside out. Targets with a diameter of 122 centimeters are used for shots of 70, 60 and 20 meters, and targets with a diameter of 80 centimeters are used for 50 and 30 meters. Each arrow gets points based on where it hits on the target. If an arrow is stuck right above the line separating the rings, the competitor will have a higher score.
ARCHERY as an ancestor sport
The importance of archery, especially horse archery, in the Turks goes back to prehistoric times. Archery was given great importance in the "Mounted Steppe Culture", which dates back to 5000 B.C. around Altay and Tanrı Mountains.
Historically, Turkish horse riders have been known in the international literature for shooting arrows behind them on a horse that goes to a quadruple, which is called a PART SHOT. Continuous hunts, which are a source of livelihood in Central Asia and have the characteristics of military exercises, have enabled the development of Turkish horse archery. The Turks carried these skills from Central Asia to Anatolia. Archery has also been important in their lives in the social field. They organized various sports archery competitions on holidays and religious ceremonies. The special materials and techniques used in making the bow and arrow of the Turks were passed down from generation to generation through the master-apprentice.
Since the second half of the 15th century, archery has become a planned and regular sports activity in the Ottoman Empire. For this purpose, 34 big squares named "Arrow Square" were allocated. The arrow squares had their own allowances, administrators, servants, and athletes resided in these areas, training and competitions were organized. The best known among arrow squares is Okmeydanı, which is still called with the same name today in Istanbul. This area was officially given to archery sport service by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. The boundaries of the area were determined by the Sultan's decree, and it was forbidden to introduce hoofed animals, burial the dead, build houses and fly birds in the area. The facility was opened every year in Hıdırellez (May 6), and the closing was held in Ruz-ı Kasım (November). Competitions and shots were held here on Mondays and Thursdays.
Archery, which has become a popular sport all over the world today, has historical equivalents in all societies as well as in Turks. The biggest advantage of archery compared to many other sports branches is that people of all ages can be interested in this sport. Archery, contrary to popular belief, is a very exciting and competitive sport. Therefore, interest in archery is increasing day by day. It is also very popular in Izmir. There are many clubs and associations in the city that you can go to for archery training or training.
Click for detailed information about archery clubs in Izmir.