Yilki, or Anatolian free-roaming horses, which live in the foothills of Mount Erciyes in central Turkey’s Kayseri, offer a sight to behold with the arrival of winter.

A herd of nearly 300 hundred horses attracts a great deal of attention from local and foreign tourists, who visit the area as part of safari tours.

These are the descendants of once-domesticated horses that were released into the wild by the local people centuries ago. People in Anatolia would use horses for farming and other works before releasing them in the wild in winter so they did not have to feed them.

Over the centuries, the number of free-roaming horses in the area multiplied and they became an indispensable part of the local landscape.

The yilki horses live in close proximity to humans, giving tourists and photographers a unique opportunity to observe them in their natural habitats.

The herd, moving together in an admirable fashion, has contributed a lot to the local tourism industry, attracting photographers and tourists alike from all around the world.

Photographer Nuri Corbacioglu, who organizes tours in the region, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the yilki horses represent freedom.

He said that the Hurmetci and Sultan Sazligi (Reeds) regions, which are home to the yilki horses, have seen above-average snowfall this year. “For the last two years, photographers from all around the world have come here. Tourists and adventure lovers have also come to see this place. Seeing 300 wild horses up close in their natural habitat is a very rare opportunity.”

There are horses in different parts of the world, but it is not possible to get this close.

“There are a lot of horses here and you can reach them so easily. This is very important in terms of local tourism. This winter we have had a lot of snow. So, the scenes here are almost surreal.”

Source:  Daily Sabah

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