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Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu (October 25, 1894March 21, 1973), also known as just Aşık Veysel, was an Alevi Turkishmarker minstrel and highly regarded poet of the Turkish folk literature. He was born in the Sivrialan village of the Şarkışlamarker district, Sivasmarker, on October 25, 1894 and died on March 21, 1973. He was an ashik, a poet, songwriter, and a bağlama and saz virtuoso, the prominent representative of the Anatolianmarker ashik tradition in the 20th century. He was blind for the most of his lifetime. His songs have usually sad tunes, often talking about the inevitability of death.


Early life

Smallpox was prevalent throughout the Ottoman region that included Sivas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His mother Gülizar and his father Ahmet had already lost two daughters to smallpox before Veysel was born. When Veysel turned seven in 1901, another smallpox outbreak occurred in Sivas, and Veysel contracted the disease as well. He became blind in his left eye and a cataract developed in his right eye. After an accident, his right eye was blinded as well. His father gave his blind son a saz and recited many folk poems to him. Poets of the region also started to drop by Ahmet Şatıroğlu’s house as well with their friends. They played instruments and sang songs. Veysel used to listen to them carefully.

Veysel, the child saz player

Veysel devoted himself wholeheartedly to playing saz and singing. He was first instructed by his father's friend, Çamışıhlı Ali Aga (Âşık Alâ), who taught him about the works of Pir Sultan Abdal, Karacaoğlan, Dertli, Rühsati and other great ashiks of Anatolia.

World War I and after

Veysel was 20 when the First World War started. All of his friends and his brother rushed to the front, yet because of his blindness he was left alone with his saz.

After the war, he married a woman named Esma, who bore him a daughter and a son. The son died 10 days after birth. On February 24, 1921 Veysel's mother died, followed eighteen months later by his father. By then Esma had left him and their six-month-old daughter, running off with a servant from his brother's house. His daughter also died at a young age.


He met Ahmet Kutsi Tecer, a literature teacher in Sivas High School, who along with his colleagues founded the Association For Preservation of Folk Poets in 1931. On December 5, 1931, they organized the Fest of Folk Poets that lasted for three days. Thereupon, a new turning point started in Veysel’s life. We can say that having met Ahmet Kutsi Tecer pointed out a new starting for Veysel.

Until 1933, Veysel played and sang the poems of master ozans. In the tenth anniversary of the Republic, upon the directives of Ahmet Kutsi Tecer, all folk poets wrote poems on the Republic and Mustafa Kemal. Veysel was one of those poets. The first poem of Veysel that came into the daylight was the poem starting with the line "Atatürk is the revival of Turkey. ..". This poem came into daylight only after Veysel left his village.

Ali Rıza Bey, the mayor of Ağcakışla to which Sivrialan was then affiliated, liked this tale of Veysel very much, and wanted to send the poem to Ankaramarker. Veysel said he himself would like to go and visit the nation's leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and set out for Ankara on foot with his faithful friend İbrahim. These two pure hearts who started their travel on bare foot under tough winter conditions, arrived in Ankara after having trampled down the roads for three months. Veysel was hosted by his hospitable friends for forty five days in Ankara. Although his aim in traveling to Ankara was to present the letter to Atatürk, it was not possible for him to do so. His mother Gülizar says "He felt bitter regret for two things in life: first not having been able to visit the great leader, and second, not being able to join the army...". However, his tale was printed in a printing house named Hakimiyeti Milliye in Ulusmarker, and was published in the newspaper for three days. Then, he started to travel around the country and to play and sing everywhere he went to. He was loved, he was respected.

Veysel himself tells us about those days as follows:

Teacher of the Village Institutes

Upon the establishment of Village Institutes, with the initiatives of Ahmet Kutsi Tecer, Âşık Veysel worked as a saz teacher in the Village Institutes of Arifiye, Hasanoğlan, Çiftelermarker, Kastamonumarker, Yıldızelimarker and Akpınarmarker. In these schools, many intellectuals who later scorned Turkey's culture were able to meet the artist and improve their poetic sensibilities.

Later life

In 1965, the Turkish Grand National Assemblymarker resolved upon allocating a monthly salary in 500 TL to Âşık Veysel in return for “his contribution to our native language and national solidarity.”

On March 21, 1973 at 3.30 a.m., Veysel closed his eyes to this world in Sivrialan, the village he was born in, in a house which now serves as a museum.

In 2000, a compilation album was released called Aşık Veysel Klasikleri.

In 2008, Joe Satriani's new album Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock included "Asik Veysel" and "Andalusia" which were dedicated to Aşık Veysel.

In 2008, Aşık Veysel's song Uzun İnce Bir Yoldayım was edited a bit of a remixed version to be a theme song for a Turkish film series, [221747] Gece Gündüz (Meaning Night Day in English. There is a very successful series Aşık Veysel's poems (in Turkish)

Selected works

  • Anlatamam Derdimi (5:24)
  • Arasam Seni Gül İlen (4:18)
  • Atatürk'e Ağıt (5:21)
  • Beni Hor Görme (2:46)
  • Beş Günlük Dünya (3:58)
  • Bir Kökte Uzamış (4:55)
  • Birlik Destanı (1:42)
  • Çiçekler (3:05)
  • Cümle Alem Senindir (6:44)
  • Derdimi Dökersem Derin Dereye (4:51)
  • Dost Çevirmiş Yüzünü Benden (3:12)
  • Dost Yolunda (4:43)
  • Dostlar Beni Hatırlasın (6:02)
  • Dün Gece Yar Eşiğinde (4:28)
  • Dünyaya Gelmemde Maksat (2:43)
  • Esti Bahar Yeli (2:41)
  • Gel Ey Aşık (5:35)
  • Gonca Gülün Kokusuna (5:24)
  • Gönül Sana Nasihatim (6:40)
  • Gözyaşı Armağan (3:32)
  • Güzelliğin On Para Etmez (4:31)
  • Kahbe Felek (2:58)
  • Kara Toprak (9:25)
  • Kızılırmak Seni Seni (4:58)
  • Küçük Dünyam (5:17)
  • Murat (5:13)
  • Ne Ötersin Dertli Dertli (3:05)
  • Necip (3:16)
  • Sazım (6:02)
  • Seherin Vaktinde (5:01)
  • Sekizinci Ayın Yirmiikisi (4:43)
  • Sen Varsın (4:01)
  • Şu Geniş Dünyaya (7:27)
  • Uzun İnce Bir Yoldayım (2:23)
  • Yaz Gelsin (3:02)
  • Yıldız (Sivas Ellerinde) (3:16)

See also

External links

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