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Turkish societies value animals greatly, especially birds which they believe bring good luck. The Turk's great love for the feathered species is demonstrated by the elaborate birdhouses they have built for sparrows, doves and pigeons to roost and raise their young ones. These small shelters are constructed high up and out of reach of humans and animals on the outer facades of mosques, madrasahs, libraries, houses, tombs, bridges, and palaces. The birdhouses, aside from providing shelter to birds, help keep the courtyard clean by discouraging birds from building nests randomly and polluting the environment with bird droppings. The birdhouses also fulfill a religious vision. It’s believed that if a person builds a bird house, he gains good deeds because the birds find shelter there.

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Photo credit: Caner Cangül

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