|F O L K L O R E||L I T E R A T U R E||M Y T H O L O G Y|
an EVIL EYE!!!
"Everyone from St. Paul to Mark Twain and Agatha Christie has written about Turkey." (The Lonely Planet, p. 55) Turkey is a country where the literature is rich from a centuries-old culture through tales passed from generation to generation. View some of the literature whose heritage stems from this beautiful country. Learn about folklore from natives of Turkey. Experience literature through the wit, common sense, igenuousness of the humor of the 13th century character, Nasreddin Hodja whose humor relfects human psychology, exposes the shortcomings of a society, criticizes even state and religious affairs, yet always settles matters amicably. Understand Mythology through the town of Troy, cruising the Bosphorous, crossing the Dardenelles.
Usually, no one leaves the country without a blue and white nazar boncugu (evil eye charm). They are found everywhere in the country. No person, place of business or home is without one. They come in many styles, from simple to ornate, usually made from glass but also of plastic. Legend has it that it protects you from "the look". "The look" translates into evil or harm wished upon you from another. Supposedly, according to locals, the folklore is based on the evil, Greek character Medusa who could turn one to stone if they glared into her eyes. When a baby is born, an evil eye is pinned to the garment on his right, back shoulder to protect him.
Turks are very superstitous:
|broken mirrors are bad luck|
|giving a knife will cut a friendship|
|when someone dies, leave the light on all night|
|don't tell your dreams before breakfast if you want them to come true|
|knock on wood twice, make the kissing noise twice, and tug twice at your ear lobe to keep from tempting fate|
|hang your mirror so that mirrored side faces the wall to keep it from capturing your soul|
Turks are very afraid of becoming ill so they are never barefoot. Slippers, while inside, or shoes are worn at all times.
"Nasreddin Hodja, the Turk who makes the world laugh. His stories, jokes, and comics are famous throught Turkey. It is believed that he was born in 1208 in Hortu. He became acquainted with many famous learned men and taught in the medresses. However, his personality has turned into myth, His utterances would not only make his listeners laugh but also induce them to think and perhaps better their ways. Some of his anecdotes quoted today were invented by admirers wishing to enhance his name and prestige and who understood Nasreddin's philosophy very well. As a matter of fact, every one of them could have been told by the Hodja himself, so perfectly they boend with his character and style." Nasreddin Hodja is still the most popular story character in Turkey. The most famous pose of Nasreddin is of him riding his donkey backwards. These icons can be purchased anywhere in Turkey.
WHY DID HE RIDE ON THE DONKEY BACKWARDS?
"One day when Hodja was going to the mosque with his mullahs, he decided to ride on his donkey backwards. The mullahs asked, "Why are you riding on the donkey backwards? You must be very uncomfortable."
He answered, "If I sat facing forward, you would be behind me. If you went in front of me, I would be behind you. Either way I would not be facing you. So, this is the most logical way!"' (Nasreddin Hodja, p. 13)
King Midas's Tomb (Midas Tumulusu)-Midas had the golden touch
The Acropolis of Gordium (Gordian)-legend for the Gordian Knot
Ephesus Museum-Statue of the god, Zeus; the gates of Hercules
Aphrodisias-Statue of the goddess Aphrodite, Temple of Aphrodite
Heirapolis-the Roman Theatre, the Temple of god Apollo
Izmir- named after the goddess Myrina
The Bosphorous Strait- legend of Hera, Io and Zeus
The Hellespont-The Golden fleece rescues Helle and Phryxus aka known as the Dardenelles (names for the son of Zeus who founded Troy
Troy-nine cities discovered; site of the Trojan War
LITERATUREVisit the Pera Palas in Instanbul and stay in the room where Agatha Christie stayed and wrote the novel, Murder on the Orient Express (1926-1932). See if you can solve the mystery of the 11 missing days of her life.
"In the Warner Brothers movie about her life story, there was a part about 11 missing days. This part gave rise to wide criticism for being imaginary. Then the moving picture company went to Tamara Rand, a famous psychic. She called for the presence of Agatha Christie in a spiritual session. There, the famous author told them that the key to the 11 missing days could be found at the Pera Palas, room No. 4ll.
On March 7, 1979, representatives from Warner Brothers and a group of local and foreign reporters came to the Pera Palas Hotel and met at room No. 4ll, at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. In ten minutes, a telephone connection was established with Tamara Rand and under her directions a search was made in the room where, finally, beneath the floor, behind the door, in the corner, was found an 8cm long, old key covered with rust. Warner Bros. people, in exhilaration, called the USA and told them that the key was found. In the meqnwhile, however, Mr. Hasan Suzer, Chairman of the Board seized the key and told them that he was going to hold a press meeting where he would delcare the conditions under which he would release the key.
They key was important because it would lead to the diary of Agatha Christie and this would in return shed some light to the 11 missing days. The diary would also illuminate some unresolved points in her mystery novels. Due to extenuating circumstances, (politics), the hotel and Warner Bros. never reached an agreement and at the moment, the key is kept in the safe of a bank in Turkey, and new attempts shall be made when the time is ripe for it."
Other recommended readings:
Novels by; Ya Shar Kemal, Harvell Press, 84 Thornhill Rd., London, NI
They Burn in the Thistles
The Wind from the Plain Trilogy:
The Wind from the Plain
Iron, Earth, Copper Sky
The Undying Grass
The Legend of Ararat
The Legend of the Thousand Bulls
Murder in the Ironsmiths Market
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