Wings of the wind... Windmills...

Stone towers, dominants of the windy hills and symbols of abundance, are defeated in time and drawing a sigh looking at the sailings on the open sea, their wings are broken and waiting for the wind to blow...

By inheritance from generation to generation, their propellers had turned over and over for hundreds of years, in a close embrace with the crazy winds... Now, their copies colour the markets and the bazaars... In almost every corner, varicoloured and in any size, there are the windmills...

Windmills are located on windy hills. When crazy breezes start to spin that big wheel, the grains get milled, abundance to tables and markets. The grains transporting to the mills by donkeys are milled and filled into bags sequentially.

Windmills show up on the windiest hills of the peninsula of Bodrum. At first glance, they look like brothers of boats on the sea struggling with wind and waves. They sometimes are on the seashore, but usually on top of the windy hills. Currently, the mills, which resemble pearl necklaces decorating the hills, where there were sea views, of the windmills that the piece of cloth used to hang from the side are broken and their interiors are ruined.

The restored windmill, which is on top of the hill by the way to Yalikavak and was built in 1850 has a feature to be the only working windmill. The windmill, which has become the symbol of Yalikavak, has been repaired by a private business administrator and has been catered as a cafe. You should sit in the shadows of the historic windmill on the windy hill in the burning heat of the summer and listen carefully to the sound of the wind.

The main structure of a windmill is a cone consisting of a stone fence. The gaps of the stone fence are filled carefully. Windmills can withstand in this way; against both wind and rain, as well as against the strong air currents created by the sail wings rotating.

The height of the mills is determined by the length of the sail wings. When the wind is low, the surface of the fabric is enlarged and the necessary power is obtained. In case there is a lot of wind, the fabric surface is narrowed and the system is balanced.

Wood arms, where the sails are connected, are called jibs. The number of the jibs are 10-12.

There is a thin rod which is called flying gurnard jib boom in sailing literature. The tips of these rods and the jibs are connected and stretched with the help of a thin chain shroud and the wing system is assembled.

The heart of a windmill is the milling system that consists of cogwheels and gearwheels. All the parts of this system are wooden that have the characteristics of solidity, lightness, flexibility that the job requires. The main shaft of the sails and the wheel are made of a turpentine tree, the spindle is made of an elm tree.

While tracing the windmills, our path crossed with Osman Mazi, who was born in 1936 and pursued his father's profession.

"In the morning with the azan (call to prayer), we used to set off on the way to the windmills. I started this job when I was a child and left in 1986. We used to grind barley, wheat and corn. You load your cereal on a horse, donkey or camel and if the wind is strong, you gain your flour and return. If there is not enough wind, the windmill does not work. On the days, when the wind was strong, I remember I would grind almost a ton of grain. You cover the sail cloth on the jibs. If you do not open the sails when it is windy, the wind is useless. When there is no wind, you tidy up the sails. Not every kind of tree is used to make a windmill. The jibs are made of turpentine trees, wheels are made of elm trees. There is a round gearwheel in the windmill. When the wheel turns, it makes the top of the spindle move. There are two milling stones; bottom stone and top stone. The bottom stone is stable, just the top stone moves.

” What do you say?

The windmills that Don Quixote could not beat fall a prey to time?

There's no sense, my Don, In fighting these senseless windmills.

Nazim Hikmet