America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

07 March 2006

Human quadrupeds discovered in Turkey,,3-2072832,00.html

Walking on all fours with the ancestors

FIVE brothers and sisters who can only walk naturally on all fours are being hailed as a unique insight into human evolution, after being found in a remote corner of rural Turkey….

…The discovery of the Kurdish family in southern Turkey last July has triggered a fierce debate. Two daughters and a son have only ever walked on two palms and two feet, with their extended legs, while another daughter and son occasionally manage a form of two-footed walking. The five can stand up, but only for a short time, with both knees and head flexed.

Human quadrupeds discovered in Turkey

The siblings, the subject of a new BBC documentary to be aired on March 17, suffer from a genetic abnormality that may prevent them from walking upright.

Two sisters and one son have only ever walked on two hands and two feet, while another daughter and son occasionally walk on two feet.

All five are mentally retarded and have problems with language as a result of a form of underdevelopment of the brain known as cerebellar ataxia.

However Humphrey told the Times their behaviour may be partly the result of their parents tolerating the behaviour in childhood.

They are aged between 18 and 34 and live in southern Turkey, athough the makers of the documentary have not disclosed their exact location.

"They walk like animals and that's very disturbing at first. But we were also very moved by this family's tremendous warmth and humanity," Jemima Harrison of Passionate Productions told the Times.


metin said...

Great advertising for Turkey. Do you think this is a hoax?

Murat Altinbasak said...

I think the oldest sibling probably had more valid reasons that the rest, to 'walk' in this manner. The rest might simply be copy-cats, following the lead of the eldest. Let's not forget that they're all mentally retarded, which is probably the most compelling reason for this behaviour. I find the medical angle to be suspect.

Celal Birader said...

I spent some time in Gaziantep on business many years ago and saw a lot of folk with various deformations - mental and physical. It's all because there is a lot of inbreeding in that region of Turkey and this is the sad result.

I don't know why the media made such a fuss about this so that it has hit the international media.

Hopefully these poor people got some money out of it

Hilal said...

Turkish people as sub-human? I think this is the insidious take-away here. What gets me is how thinly-veiled the human-interest angle is ("They walk like animals...but we were...moved by this family's tremendous warmth."). Puh-leez.

Anonymous said...

This is indeed not a hoax. 60 minutes (AUSTRALIA) recently did a piece on it, showing them walking and things like that, and it was truly moving and sad how they have had to live life like taht.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it matters that they are Turkish - it was a Turkish doctor who revealed them. People just find them amazing and pitiable. Perhaps some long-buried 'caveman' gene has resurfaced, but probably they are just odd and walk funny. Murat's right - they're all copying the eldest.

Juan said...

In Chili we have two brothers ,showed for tv.