Zeybeks were irregular militia and guerrilla fighters living in the Aegean Region of the Ottoman Empire from late 17th to early 20th centuries.
Before the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, large concentrations of Zeybeks could be found in the Ionian coast of Asia Minor and more particularly in western Anatolia, near the city of Izmir.
They acted as protectors of village people against landlords, bandits and tax collectors. A leader of a Zeybek gang was called Efe and his soldiers were known as either Zeybeks or Kızan. Kızan was generally used for newly recruited or inexperienced Zeybeks. There was generally a tribe democracy in group. Decisions were taken in a democratic way, after the decision was taken Efe has an uncontroversial authority. They followed definite rituals for all actions; for example, the promotion of a kızan to zeybek was very similar to Ahi rituals.
Zeybeks had a special dance in which performers simulated hawks and eagles. Romantic songs about their bravery are still popular in Turkish folk music. The yatagan sword was their primary weapon, but most of them carried firearms as well.
The Zeybeks fought against the Greek invasion of Western Anatolia during the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922. Their guerrilla warfare gave time for Turkish resistance to form a defense. After the formation of a Turkish national army, most of them joined and continued their resistance.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeibeksSome nice examples of zeybek dance:Zeybek dance
The zeybek is a form of folk dance peculiar to Western, Central and southern Anatolia in Turkey. It is named after the Zeybeks.
All zeybek dances have a common characteristic form, but the positioning of the arms and body differ according to the different regions. The rhythm is also very characteristic, a pattern of nine slow beats: 9/4 = 2+2+2+3 beats or 3+2+2+2 with occasional variations.
Zeybek melodies can be divided according to their tempo: ağır (slow) and kıvrak (fast). The ağır zeybek have rhythmic patterns of 9/2 or 9/4, which begin with an introduction called gezinleme in free style where the dancers wander freely before starting to dance in time with the rhythm. There is, however, no gezinleme introduction in female zeybek dances. Kıvrak zeybek have rhythmic patterns of 9/8 or 9/16.
Yağar Yağmur Zeybeği
Koca Arap Zeybeği
Kostak Ali Zeybeği (solo)
Kostak Ali Zeybeği (group)
Tekeler Zeybeği & Kostak Ali Zeybeği
Maltepe Askeri Lisesi Zeybek Ekibi