Zeybeks or sometimes Zeibeks were people living in Asia Minor. The majority of them came from Yoruk and Turkmen villages.
Before the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, large concentrations of Zeibeks could be found in western Anatolia, particularly in Isparta, Burdur, Afyon, Kutahya, Uak, Denizli, Aydin, Izmir, Manisa, Mugla, Antalya, and the Balikesir area.
Zeybeks were mountain warriors of Western Anatolia during the 13th - 19th centuries. Zeybeks generally had Turkmen and Yoruk origins. 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 kizan. Kizan was generally used for untrained Zeybeks. There was generally a tribe democracy in group. Decisions was 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 kizan to zeybek was very similar to Ahi rituals.
Zeybeks had a special dance in which performers simulated hawks. 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.
Most of the Zeybeks fought against the Greek invasion of Western Anatolia in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922. Their guerilla warfare gave time for Turkish resistance to form a defence.
Atcali Kel Mehmet Efe, Demirci Mehmet Efe, Yoruk Ali Efe, and Cakircali Mehmet Efe are some of the most famous Zeybek leaders.
Zeybek dance or Zeybegi dance (in Turkish) and Zeibekiko dance and music style
Onur Akdogu, "Bir Bakaldiri Oykusu Zeybekler, Cilt 1 - 3 Tarihi - Ezgileri - Danslari" ("A Story of Rebellion - Zeybeks" ), Izmir, Turkey, 2004
Views of the "outlaw concept" in comparative perspective: "The American West" and the "Zeybeks" in the Turk lands : Lectures on Central Asia, H.B. Paksoy