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The meaning of the Day

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  • Turkish Radio
    [Our traditional Thanksgiving Day article...] Happy Meleagris Gullapavo Day Or, how the thanksgiving bird acquired its name: The homeland of the fowl known
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 27, 2002
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      [Our traditional Thanksgiving Day article...]

      Happy Meleagris Gullapavo Day

      Or, how the "thanksgiving bird" acquired its name:

      The homeland of the fowl known as "Meleagris
      gullopavo" or "americana sybestris auis," is the North
      American continent. The 1494 Tordesillas treaty, forged by
      the Pope in Rome, granted the monopoly of commerce
      originating from the newly discovered continent to the
      Portuguese (as opposed to the Spanish). The Portuguese
      brought this fowl to their Goa colony in India. Circa
      1615, Cihangir (a direct descendent of the founder of the
      "Mughal" empire in India, Babur 1483-1530, who was himself
      a grandson of Timur who died in 1405) wrote his Tuzuk-u
      Jahangiri (Institutes of Cihangir). In his book, Cihangir
      also described this fowl in detail replete with a color
      drawing. Since "Meleagris gullopavo" resembled the
      "Meleagris Numida" commonly found in Africa (especially in
      Guinea), and already known in India, the former became
      known in British India as the "Guinea Fowl." [See O.
      Caroe, "Why Turkey." Asian Affairs (October 1970)].
      Meleagris gullapavo was then introduced to Egypt, a
      province of the Ottoman empire and entered the Turkish
      language as Hindi ("India," or, "from India"). When
      traders took a breeding stock from Ottoman ("Turkish")
      Egypt to Spain and the British Isles, the bird was
      designated "Turkey." As a result, the pilgrims landing on
      Plymouth rock in 1620 were familiar with "Turkey," when
      they encountered it in their new home. After the 1776
      Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin suggested
      that "turkey" --native of the land-- be designated as the
      symbol of the young American republic. Instead, Haliaeetus
      leucocephalus ("Bald Eagle") was given this honor.

      Translated from:
      H. B. Paksoy, "Turk Tarihi, Toplumlarin Mayasi,
      Uygarlik" Annals of Japan Association for Middle
      East Studies (Tokyo) No. 7, 1992. Pp. 173-220.
      Footnote 26.
      [Reprinted in Yeni Forum (Ankara), Vol. 13, No. 277,
      Haziran 1992. Pp. 54-65].
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