Turkish folktales
July 29, 2008 7:40 AM   Subscribe

The Uysal - Walker Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative is an immense repository of folktales from modern Anatolia. The full list of stories but luckily there's a search function. But that's not all, oh no, there's also a music section, with downloadable mp3s and a whole nother section with more stories and Turkish literature and mp3s. Here's a somewhat random selection of stories to get you started (all links pdf): Nasreddin Hoca's Brilliant Donkey, A Saint Urinates in Public, The Girl Disguised as a Monk and the Padishah's Youngest Son, Behlül Dane Discourses with the Dung Heap and finally, Elia Kazan in Kayseri (yes, that Elia Kazan).
posted by Kattullus (10 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Incidentally, the word "kazan" means "cauldron" in Turkish.
posted by Kattullus at 7:41 AM on July 29, 2008

I wonder if there are any folk tales about The Spider Man. Heh. This is a great resource, and despite spending a good bit of time online looking for Turkish music, this is new to me. Thanks!
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 8:38 AM on July 29, 2008

Thanks for this - I shall browse more thoroughly at my leisure.
posted by Phanx at 8:40 AM on July 29, 2008

Great stuff! (Is everyone who urinates in public a saint? If so, I should have applied for my halo back in the drunken early '80s.)
posted by languagehat at 9:07 AM on July 29, 2008

Nas Reddin's tales are also up on project Gutenberg as html, so you don't have to deal with pdfs.
posted by klangklangston at 10:32 AM on July 29, 2008

There are (give or take a dozen) a gazillion different stories of Nasreddin. I didn't find any of the stories I read in The Uysal-Walker Archive in the collection on Gutenberg, for example the story of Nasreddin's brilliant donkey.
posted by Kattullus at 11:09 AM on July 29, 2008

Another brilliant post, Kattullus.
posted by jokeefe at 11:14 AM on July 29, 2008

Even I must grudgingly admit to this great display of awesomeness as I'm reading Orhan Pamuk and was wondering where I could find some Turkish language MP3s.

Good show, old chap.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:40 PM on July 29, 2008

There are a number of artifacts in the Turkish history collection that occasionally have been on display

The archives consisted mainly of old tapes that were slowly degrading. An archivist hired in 2001, H.B. Paksoy, worked with the Southwest Collection to get them all online before they got too old to play any more. Here is a transcript of a local public radio program about that.

He left a little after that to pursue other opportunities, but this was one thing he was really proud of, and justifiably so.
posted by lysdexic at 6:36 PM on July 29, 2008

Has anyone who has read The Girl Disguised as a Monk and the Padisa tell me what it was about? While, having grown up on Mullah Nasseruddin's stories (albeit without the specific Turkish spellings; the English-translations I read of the original Indo-Persian editions always spelt his last name as 'Hodja'), I'd like to think I'm in home terrain, I can't help but feel distant from some of the cultural nuances that the translation seem to have taken for granted.

Or, to put it slightly more acerbically, did anyone else find the girl's apparent interest in cleaning up the princes' tents repelling? And why did the girl-as-Keshish (note that I'm ignoring the obvious plot-hole, namely as to how the girl was believable as the Keshish; I'm assuming there's a bigger nuance there) not tell the prince who she really was? And why, oh why, is buying chicken instead of candles such a big crime that the girl had to be thrown out?

Don't get me wrong; I love folk-tales. Just that, with this one, I didn't auto-magically get a "feel" for the story, as it were, and am wondering how others here would respond to this text.
posted by the cydonian at 9:51 PM on July 29, 2008

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