Yes, so many breeds have been destroyed in the show ring which are nonetheless still promoted as the real thing, bred to kill lions and bears since Roman times blah blah when they can just barely manage to trot across the ring.
Thanks for the pictures. Mine are definitely "on the leg" those short stumpy legs look well, exactly that, short and stumpy. I don't think that type has much athleticism, not enough to run down a wolf even for a short distance, never mind through snow or over rough undulating terrain. They also needed a fair amount of athleticism to stay out of trouble if it comes to predators like bears for another example. Mine can leap up a ten foot bank no problem at all , one bound in fact. Unlike any other dog I've ever had they take short cuts all the time never ever going the long way around, its quite startling especially when they are excited, you just don't want to be in the way.
I am watching a wild life documentary series at the moment set in the general region and bears are sill found over much of it much to my amazement, even in Turkey.
I noticed those dogs in your colour pictures have short coats, is this because it's summer? Just I noticed snow in the background. Otherwise Im not seeing that as very efficient for the extreme weather found in those parts. Ours shed every year spot on in Spring......it's certainly freezing cold on the steppes and even snows a fair bit too even if dryer than in the mountains. Ours have a full coat in winter, its gorgeous light and billowy but also oily and fully weather proof. Even in driving cold rain the undercoat remains warm and dry, like dense felt. I always have to wash my hands after playing with them because they get covered. The coat doesn't look oily and never shiny, it in fact rather looks like something a well heeled lady in the 50's might've thrown over her shoulders for an evening on the town LOL, just immaculate. Having said that we never wash our dogs ever, we never use soap or any other oil stripping detergent, just brush and if necessary help to strip in Spring. They always smell as sweet as puppies. In summer they quite like to stand in front of the hose pipe or play in the sprinklers to cool down.
I just went outside to have another look at those skulls, and from ear base to ear base is exactly the length of large mans hand, finger tips to wrist, flat, the muscling is there definitely but spaced apart so you can feel the ridge down the middle but its still bulging muscle either side. The muzzle is rectangular rather than square. The head longer than any mastiffs head certainly and with very well developed jaws. Personally I think generally speaking more polar bear shape rather than wolf or mastiff but it's interesting to hear peoples first impressions, these vary between a gi-nourmouse GSD on steroids to wolf cross lion even.....they do have the cutest expressive eyes imaginable, set deep so the eye lids look flattened somehow.
Feet not at all flat but large, fore arm long and big, big boned......Im not so sure there should be absolute standards for these dogs as general diversity is or possibly was the key to their genetic health. Those shepherds are typical fairly nomadic. Im sure very few if any for example actually spend winters up the mountain slopes, too dangerous and the sheep would die for lack of anything to eat or just get stuck in the snow drifts so there must be or perhaps have been in many cases a fair amount of natural outcrossing going on between types and regions. There certainly wouldn't have been that strict focus on a single phenotype found in the show ring.
I think unpicking types is particularily difficult and often is rather centered around nationalism ego and pride than to the true benfit of working dogs. But any authentic documented history and photos of types does of course make fascinating reading and viewing, how I found this site in fact.