Trading in town is not entirely simple. Villagers are suspicious, perhaps rightly, of traders, and in spite of the arrangement of the market by which most of the streets are devoted to a single type of shop with full-scale competition, villagers normally have their known friends to whom they always go. These may allow them credit. One village or one set of kin and neighbours tends to concentrate on the same merchant so that he has a good deal to lose by failing one of them. People use the town merchants mainly for large orders and major purchases. Before a wedding, for example all the necessary cloth, clothes and extra food are bought on an expedition to town. When I gave a feast to the village to mark my departure, I was taken into town to buy rice and other necessaries.
One extreme is represented by a band of villages nearer Kayseri with an established tradition of building labour. In one of these I was told that all but six households lived by migrant labour, all the adults being skilled migrants who were away from home from April to December. The Kayseri region has a national reputation for skill in building. One of the villages near Talas produced Mimar Sinan, architect of the great mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent in Istanbul.
Elbashï stands at the other extreme. With as much land as its working population could comfortably cultivate, it had only a small trickle of migrants, and many of these were only away for short periods between the busy seasons.
The villages around Sakaltutan fell between these two types.