An Eid memory from Turkey

Piero Castellano
3 min readJul 31, 2020


An insensitive remark by @diehimbeertonis triggered some old Bayram memory:

When i was living in Urla, near Izmir, Turkey, I happened to ride behind a truck loaded with goats and a happy family, returning from the temporary livestock market set up for the bayram.

It was a pitiful sight, but for the family men proudly standing on the truck bed among the ovines, holding their horns. The poor goats looked like doomed Ancien Régime aristocrats on their way to the guillotine, just more innocent: I’m sure they knew. All bleated like crying.

That is, all were crying except one. A young ram, with curious eyes, looking like he was enjoying the bus ride, looking around. When the truck stopped at a traffic light, his eyes lit up: his moment had come. He suddenly sprang over his rear legs and jumped over the tailgate.

He landed on the road and started running like all hell was loose and an army of devils was at his heels, as it surely was from his biased point of view. He had good timing: the traffic light just turned green and the truck bed was a mess of yelling and cursing and banging.

The driver hesitantly stopped, and the boldest men of the group jumped down the truck, with mixed fortune, and chased the fugitive, that by then was messing up the bayram traffic. I watched jaw dropped waiting for the inevitable recapture while motorists went crazy. But then…

Every man chasing the ram wanted to be the one who cleaned the affront, nobody stayed on the truck. As inspired by the defiant gesture of their comrade, every goat, one by one, repeated his deed, until the truck was empty and a stampede of not so doomed goats filled the street.

The driver honked desperately, some men turned back, some drivers stopped to help, others shielded the goats, yours truly risked suffocation and literally fell off the motorcycle laughing. A goat jumped into the cemetery and the chase among the graves was worthy of its own movie.

Lest some goat hijacked my bike to ride away in Steve McQueen fashion, I prudently moved on, trying to catch my breath. I don’t know if and how many of those gallant ovines were recaptured, later i heard someone alleging that they were trained by sellers to return to the market.

Two things are sure: 1. as long as there will be kurban bayrami in Turkey, I will remember that (not uncommon at all) scene, and 2. A lot of terlik flying and man shaming must have happened in that large family that Eid. Herkese iyi bayramlar !



Piero Castellano

Photojournalist and writer, traveler, biker, based in Genoa, Italy.