to belief in Nakhchivan, everything or every animated object
has its owner. It is called “owner”. The collected materials
prove that according to belief of nation, mountain, stone,
water, tree and bush also have owner.
During investigating parallels of the belief, it was known
that Sibir and Altay Turks also have the same belief. It was
called “ichchi” among Yakut people and “echi”, “yechi”, “yey’”
among other Turk peoples. While investigating tree kult, the
meaning why people tie the fabric to trees and bushes around
“”Ashabi-Kahf” and other places for pilgrimage was also
Comparative researches show that other Turkish peoples
including Anadolu Turks also have this belief. In several
places for pilgrimage, there was the habit to tie fabric to
trees and bushes. Similarly Sibir and Altay peoples tie the
fabric to trees for the purpose to satisfy owner of the tree.
This has character for sacrifice of tree.
Yakut people call the fabric and coarse calico tied to trees
as “sarama”. Yakut people who consider the tree alive as human
applause the tree. We can see the similar applause and
capability of human to get in touch with tree in “Kitabi-Dada
Gorgud”. Tree kult also takes the important place in ancient
Shumer epos “Bilgamis”.
Sanctity of the tree has also widely spread in eposes of Turks
in Middle Asia. This shows that Turkish people consider the
tree as mother and productivity symbol. It is not accidental
that mythical trees, which are called as life tree, exist
among several peoples of the world. According to notions,
those trees give eternal life to human and cure illnesses.
Their fruits, branches and leaves are life giving.
According to ancient notions, holiness of the tree means its
having underground and surface life. It means the part inside
the ground – the underground part of the roots means death,
but the surface one this world, renovation and life. According
to the belief of Siberia Turks, there is a holy tree in the
middle of globe. It rises to the God. Mirali Seyidov says that
the life tree is in the top of mountain: “The life trees
usually used to grow in the top of or not far from the
mountain and rock. Thus, man wanted to create stronger belief
by combining the belief in mountain with the belief in world
Besides the world tree, life fruit is the main part of the
system of belief of the Azerbaijani Turks. The apple means
life fruit, symbol of health in our tales and eposes. The tale
“Melikmammad” deals with the youth apple growing in the garden
of padishah and the events connected with it. It means that
when dervish or a holy man gives an apple to you, you will be
free from childlessness
. One of the interesting matters
is to determine the genesis of belief related with tying
different pieces of material and coarse calico to the trees
and shrubs in “Ashabi-Kahf”. To note that, there is a belief
in tying rages to the trees and shrubs not only in “Ashabi
Kahv”but also around some sanctuaries. There is a tradition of
tying rages pear-tree near the sanctuary called “Duyma Guyusu”
in Almammad sacred place (near Jamaldin village), pear-tree in
Havush sacred place, ergot shrub in “Pir Suleyman” sepulcher
in the village of Tenenem, as well as ergot shrub in called
“Salatin piri”, shrub around the Arafsa sacred place. The
comparative investigations show that, this belief is spread
among all the Turkish peoples not depending on their religious
Famous investigators, such as N.A.Alekseyev, A.B.Anoxin,
L.P.Potapov, L.Y.Chanchibayeva, Abdulgadir Inan and others
being engaged in research of systems of religion and beliefs
of the Turks, considering the trees alive, link this with the
belief of having protective spirit (master). N.A.Alekseyev
writes that, it is to make sacrifice for this spirit.
In ancient Turks thought, tree and forest are holy things
mainly affecting on human life. The Turks believed that if
they satisfy their master, they would live in happiness,
abundance and luxury. The investigations show that, the rages
shouldn’t be tied to every tree at all.
It is tied only to the trees (even the name of tree must be
clear) in mountain passages in holy places. According to the
information of S.I.Rudenko, the Bashkirs tied rages to the
trees and shrubs in the tops for mountain spirits. This is
called “saprak”. The Yakut call it “salama”, “sarama”, but the
Altai “salam”, “yalama”. The trees are distinguished according
to their holiness. The maples are holy for Siberia and Altai
Turks, but the birch, carcass for Middle Asia.
The carcass is considered holy in “Ashabi-Kahf”. It must be
noted that there were many carcass trees here until the
eighties of the last century.
The persons visiting the sanctuaries used its fruits as a
medicine in different diseases. The beads made from carcass
were hung on clothes or neck of the little children to protect
them against being evil eyes and some diseases. According to
the belief spread among people: “The carcass tree shouldn’t be
broken. Because you may be damned. It is difficult to free
yourself from this curse. If you break it you should hang it
over your dress against evil eyes”.
The same belief is spread among the Turkmen. G.P.Vasilyeva
writes that, the most effective amulet used to be made from
carcass. This amulet, being called as “carcass” is usually
hung on children’s neck in the early period of their diseases
and isn’t taken out till the end of their lives.
The juniper tree, being used for the purpose of treatment, is
always considered holy for its greenness in Nakhchivan. It is
sin to break it. Analogically, besides its medical
characteristics, the Altai use its smoke in order to turn evil
spirits out of the houses, men and animals. Like Azerbaijani
Turks, the Siberian and Altai Turks consider that evil
spirits, ill-intentioned men are afraid of thorny plants.
For the purpose of wish, to tie the rages is widely spread
among karkuks (Iraqi Turkmen). There is a great belief in
another tree known under the same name in Sere/Suvare area. In
this connection, Yashar Kalafat writes: “There is a hole
inside the tree. Passing through the tree the persons having
no children, believe that they will have children. The men
having children tied the rages to the tree and killed as a
scarify”. Some of plane trees are holy for Middle Asian Turks.
G.P.Vasilyeva notes that, the plane tree is considered holy
near the Kiz Bibi. Especially the women visit that plane tree
and arrange an assembly under it in order to free themselves
from childlessness and disease.
At the same time, they tie the rages to the branches of the
plane. If the wish is great then the meeting is great too. The
author says that it is done in the honor of the woman by name
Hami-Kiz-Bibi. The Crimean Turks consider the plane holy.
There was a strong belief in old planes.
People in Nakhchivan, especially in Ordubad consider the
planes holy. It is not accidental that there are plane trees
in the yard of mosques and some sanctuary in Ordubad. It is
said among people: “The place where the plane trees are, is
considered to be holy”. There was a big tree in front of
mosque until the seventies of XX century in Ordubad. It was
said that, at these times sheikh Nizami had been here and sat
under this tree.
There was writing on the trunk of the tree about concerning
the XI century. When the mosque was destroyed and there was
built a new cultural house instead of it, the tree became dry.
Besides it, there is a great respect to the black trees in the
yard of mosque in Nakhchivan. Generally, the belief connected
with black tree is widely spread in Nakhchivan. Arguing about
this belief, H.A.Guliyev and A.S.Bakhtiyarov write: “There
have been two black trees at a distance from each other near
Nakhchivan recently. The people called them “twins”. They say
that, these trees are connected with each other by means of
There was a young birch-bark near one of these trees (on the
way to Yarimja village) that was called the son of old birch
–bark. Afterwards the around of this tree became a big
grave-yard called “Khuda divan”. According to the legend
famous among the people, who take even the straw of this tree,
he or she will catch malaria”.
When blessing and wishing, to touch the head of bride with a
little branch of the tree bearing fruit, is connected with
fertility. According to the above-mentioned we can come to
conclusion that, belief in tree conveying the common Turkish
character from the genetic point of view had been formed in
ancient times. The ancient Turkish family preserved those
beliefs related with that tree considering it life-giving,
vital force. Sanctity of the tree is in its surface and
That is to say, the underground part of the tree – root
represents the death and the surface part of the tree
represents the world, renovations and life. According to
belief of Sibir Turks, There is a sacred tree in the middle of
globe. This tree rises up to God. Mirali Seyidov shows that
the world (life) tree is mainly situated in the top of the
“The world trees were mainly growing in the top of the
mountain and at the rock. According to this, human wanted to
create more strong belief by combing belief for tree and the
world tree with mountain belief, mountain God (owner)”.
Together with life tree, the life fruit also takes the
important place in the belief system of the Azerbaijan Turks.
In our tales and eposes, apple is considered as life fruit and
“Malikmammad” tale was dedicated to youthfulness apple grown
in the yard of padishah and incidents happened with this. In
tales, it is possible to be exempted from endlessness by means
of apple given by a sacred human. One of the interesting
matters is to determine the genesis of belief related to ting
of fabric to trees and bushes in “Ashabi-Kahf”. We have to
note that the belief to tie fabric to trees is not only in
“Ashabi-Kahf” in Nakhchvan territory but also in other places