From Constantinople to Istanbul - Nanzan Institute for Religion and

From Constantinople to Istanbul - Nanzan Institute for Religion and

A rzu O zturkm en Bogaziqi University Istanbul, Turkey From Constantinople to Istanbul Two Sources on the Historical Folklore of a City Abstract T...

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A rzu O

zturkm en

Bogaziqi University Istanbul, Turkey

From Constantinople to Istanbul Two Sources on the Historical Folklore of a City

Abstract This article explores the folklore of Istanbul at the end of the nineteenth century, based on two written sources: Folklore de Constantinople (1894) by Emile Henry Carnoy and Jean Nicolaides, and Istanbul FolJ^oru (1947) by Mehmet Halit Bayn. Focusing on the nineteenth-century Istanbul data, these two sources merge the themes of “Istanbul” and “folklore” from different perspectives. Folklore de Constantinople covers an assortment of diverse legends and stories, mostly of non-Muslim origins. These stories are related to different places in Istanbul before and after the Ottoman conquest. Istanbul Foll^loru, however, gives a survey of a variety of folklore genres from the nineteenth-century Muslim life of the city. It presents a composite picture of the culture of “Istanbulism, ” or of belonging to Istanbul (istanbulluluf{), when the city made a transition from the late Ottoman period to the early Republican era. The article will first focus on the content of each work, with references to contemporary Istanbul and the concept of Istanbulism. It will then try to evaluate these sources from the point of view of modern folkloristics, sug­ gesting new openings for studying the folklore of contemporary Istanbul. Keywords: Istanbul— epic— legend— proverb— lullaby— folk medicine— folk religion

Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 61, 2002: 271-294

HIS PAPER EXPLORES the folklore of Istanbul at the end of the nine­

teenth century, based on two written sources, which are both out of print. One of these sources is in French, Folklore de Constantinople (Folklore or Constantinople), which was published in 1894 by Emile Henry Carnoy (1861—1930) and Jean Nicolaides (1841—1891). This book is avail­ able in the National Library in Ankara and in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.1The other source is in Turkish, and was first published in 1947 by Mehmet Halit Bayn (1896—1958) under the title of Istanbul Folkloru (Folklore of Istanbul).2This work is not easily accessible but does appear in used book stores called sahafs and a number of libraries around Turkey. Focusing on the nineteenth-century Istanbul data, these two sources merge the themes of “Istanbul” and “folklore” from different perspectives. Folklore de Constantinople covers an assortment of diverse legends and stories, most­ ly of non-Muslim origins. These stories are related to different places in Istanbul before and after the Ottoman conquest. Istanbul Folkloru, however, gives a survey of a variety of folklore genres from the nineteenth-century Muslim life of the city. It presents a composite picture of the culture of “Istanbulism, ” or of belonging to Istanbul (jstanbulluluki) , when the city made a transition from the late Ottoman period to the early Republican era. This article will first focus on the content of each work, with references to contemporary Istanbul and to the concept of Istanbulism. It will then try to evaluate these sources using the methods of modern folklore studies, sug­ gesting new openings for studying the folklore of contemporary Istanbul. As the content analysis will reveal, both texts document how folklore reflects the construction of the city’s image at a very particular time— — the end of the nineteenth century. This image is a problematic issue in the study of Istanbul’s folklore, calling attention to a contemporary tension between the “true Istanbulite” and the immigrants from Anatolia. The elements that made up “old Istanbul, ” now idealized as a pure and unpolluted space, are in fact rooted in the folklife of nineteenth-century Istanbul. The history of nineteenth-century Istanbul is well documented and is now imagined as a [272 ]



past paradise. It is nostalgically missed by many Istanbulites, who now believe that a “peasant culture invaded the city during the 1950s,when migration from Anatolia began giving rise to the shantytowns (gecet^ondu) in the outskirts of traditional neighborhoods. The contemporary construction of this imagined Istanbulite identity, where the main streets were populated with true gentlemen {beyefendi) instead of the ill-mannered newcomers (f{uro),3 is therefore rooted in the nineteenth-century image of the city. It is in this sense that this study sees Istanbulism as a binding concept between the folklore of contemporary Istanbul and that of the imagined Istanbul as reflected by the works of CARNOY and NICOLAIDES (1894) and Mehmet Halit Bayri (1972). A N i n e t e e n t h - C e n t u r y “P r o t o - E t h n o g r a p h y ” o f L e g e n d s :C a r n o y a n d N ic o la id e s ^ F o lk lo re


C o n s t a n t in o p l e

E. Henry Carnoy was a French folklorist, whose works consisted of folklore collections from France, Algeria, and the Ottoman world, and of a series of biographies.4Contes Frangais, which he published in 1885, was a compilation of folk tales collected between 1878 and 1884 from such places as Picardie, Normandie, Artois, Berry, Alsace, Lorraine, and Provence/ しarnoy believed in the deep similarities of the tales across different regional cultures.6 In addition to French folklore, he was also interested in the Oriental world. His D ’AlgSrie traditionnelle: Contributions au fol\-lore des Arabes (1884),co­ authored with A. Certeux included legends, tales and songs from Algeria. In 1887,he joined “La Societe des Tradmonistes” and founded the journal of the society: La tradition.1 Carnoy’s work on the Ottoman world came out of ms cooperation with Jean Nicolaides. Together, they produced three books primarily related to folklore: Traditions populaires de lAsie Mineure (1889),Traditions populaires de Constantinople et de ses environs, contributions au folklore des lures, Chretiens, Armeniens (1892),8 and finally Folklore de Constantinople (1894). Jean Nicolaides^ own work included two other books on similar themes: one being Les livres de divination, traduits sur un manuscrit turc inedit (1889), and the other Contes licencieux de Constantinople et de VAsie Mineure (1906). In the foreword of Folklore de Constantinople, E. Henry CARNOY and Jean NICOLAIDES (1894, vn—vm ) inform their audience that their book is a part of a larger project that will research the folklore of the Ottoman Empire in general: We continue with this volume the publication of the material collected during our research on the folklore of the Ottoman Empire__ We have several volumes under preparation, which will complete the precedent



publications. When our work is finished, we will have the satisfaction of having gathered an ensemble of firsthand material that will make a valuable contribution to our studies of folklore.9 The forthcoming works are listed at the beginning of the book (p. vi) as uTraditions des environs de Constantinople, ” “しa medecine superstitieuse chez les Turcs et chez les urecs, ” “Chansonspopulairesgrecques” and an additional vol­ ume or Folklore de Constantinople,” which was to focus on customs and proverbs. The catalogues of the Bibliotneque Nationale do not cite any of these announced works, listing the 1894 tolklore de Constantinople as Carnoy, s last work on the Ottoman Empire. Following Folklore de Constantinople it seems that Carnoy shifted ms interest toward the publica­ tion of his biographical series on internationally known figures, while Jean Nicolaides continued his research and published one more work on the Ottoman world: Contes licencieux de Constantinople et de VAsie Mineure (1906). Carnoy and Nicolaides^ Folklore de Constantinople is a compilation of stories about places and monuments of Byzantine and Ottoman Istanbul, referred in today’s tourist guides as the “Old しity.” For each story, the authors indicate the name of the person from whom the story was collected, his10 ethnic origin, profession, birthplace, and age.11 These storytellers con­ sist of Turks, Greeks, and Armenians with origins from different parts of the empire, including places like incesu, Zile ,Amasya,Ta§koprii, Konya, and Bosnia. They practice a large variety of professions and among them are a pharmacist, muezzin, postman, boat watchman, laborer, money-dealer, and a student. In fact, Carnoy and Nicolaides^ approach is rather progressive given the fact that, in their time, the common practice was to consider folk­ lore as consisting of a number or anonymous cultural genres. In this sense, their work can be considered as a “proto-ethnography” for having voiced the identity of the storyteller. Their Foreword opens up with a statement, which explains the reasons for their sensitivity on citing names and origins of their informants. According to CARNOY and NICOLAIDES (1894,vii),this was an inevitable thing to do, as the cultural diversity” of their informants imposed itself upon them during their research: We paid special attention to indicating the source for everything we dis­ cussed. This attention to detail was in fact a necessity. Constantinople is a place where the greatest variety of peoples gathered. Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, as well as twenty other peoples, maintained their customs and traditions under a more liberal administration than in the old Byzantium.

Map of the Istanbul Metropolitan Area (Drawn by Selma Ozkogak based on the map published in MuLLER-W lENER 2001.)



Ironically, this book of oral accounts begins with a section based on a writ­ ten source— — the Seyahatname (Book of Travels) of the famous sixteenth-century traveler Evliya (Jelebi. Entitled as “The Talismans of Constantinople, ” this first section focuses on the talismans that scientists from around the world placed in Constantinople, so that this center of knowledge and culture would not suffer from calamities of earth, sky, and sea.12 Carnoy and Nicolaides select a number of such talismans and the narratives related to them. The talismans related to earth and sky belong to different places of the city, including such sites as Avrat Pazari (female slave market) and Tavuk Pazan (“chicken market”)whose names sound unfamiliar to our ears today, or others such as Saraghane (“harness shop”),Beyazit Mosque, Zeyrek,and Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), which constitute the well-known places of con­ temporary tourism. The talismans related to the sea are about such places as Tophane and Sarayburnu, which are also familiar to contemporary residents as the main ports of the city. Among such talismans, one is related to the Byzantine emperor Leon. This concerns a fountain that the emperor had made, and from whose faucet wine continually ran. The legend tells us that when the Turks conquered the city they destroyed this fountain because of their religious belief against wine. But at the same time, they were curious about the source of this foun­ tain. Later, they discovered that its source came from a bunch of grapes of which only one single grape was half-cut. Leaving aside excerpts from Evliya Qelebi,the remaining legends and stories of Carnoy and Nicolaides^ book come from the personal accounts of a variety of people that they interviewed in Istanbul. In fact, these stories lay out a continuum that is related to the making of the myth of the city. This continuum ranges from the founding to the conquest of Constantinople, and from the images of the time of Constantine to that of Mehmet II. Given the fact that these two rulers had put their mark on the city’s fate, one can understand why they are frequently referred to in the stories that Carnoy and Nicolaides had collected. Three stories concentrate particularly on the time of Emperor Constantine. The first of these is a founding myth of Constantinople, the story of the “Eagle.” Originally, Constantine wanted to set up his city in Chalcedon (today’s Kadikoy). But an eagle transported all the equipment and supplies three times in succession from Chalcedon to where the old city is located today. Another such legend marked the end of the Byzantine era. When the foundations of the city were being laid in the time of Constantine, part of the walls of the city was weakly built because of a mysterious stork’s interference.13According to legend, it was through this weak spot in the ramparts that the Turks were able to enter and conquer the city. The third legend is called “Qatladi Kapi” (The Cracked Door), and it



tells about the Byzantines who won a war on account of forty Armenian war heroes. These forty Armenian soldiers later married forty young Greek women. But as soon as the women became pregnant, the soldiers were killed off one by one. Only one soldier managed to escape, which he did by break­ ing through an iron door. The 57-year-old pharmacist from Egin, Haci Artin Kalenderoglu, who recounted this story to Carnoy and Nicolaides, believed that when the seas were calm, the horseshoe prints of this soldier were still visible. Next to Constantine, Istanbul’s other hero is undoubtedly Fatih Sultan Mehmet, otherwise known as Mehmet II. One of the city’s legends brings both characters together: One day, a cleric brings Emperor Constantine a sword sent by God. But Constantine, unable to appreciate the protective value of the divine sword, chases him away. The cleric then gives this sword to Mehmet II. It is believed that it is because of this sword that Mehmet II was able to conquer Istanbul. The aftermath of the Ottoman conquest becomes the ground for many other stories. One such story is about the rights granted to the Greeks, which included their being able to walk on their own private sidewalks, to leave the faces of their dead uncovered, and to have the name of Constantine or Constantinople appear on their money. Another story, set in the post-conquest period, tells of a rebellion of soldiers who had kidnapped Greek girls. Families who identified their daughters wanted them back. Facing their reactions, Sultan Mehmet does away with the whole matter by giving the following advice: “If you put the kafes (a wooden latticework) on your windows, no one will be able to see who is inside.” It is believed that the kafes tradition found in houses of Ottoman Istanbul dates back to that day. Carnoy and Nicolaides give a narrative that they collected from a 22-year-old muezzin14 from Amasya. The muezzin, Huseyinoglu Suleyman Efendi, tells a story that takes place between the Sheikulislam and Sultan Mehmet. According to him, Sultan Mehmet was having a large mosque built, only to find out that its columns were too short. Dissatisfied with the work, he had his architect’s hands cut off. When the architect complained about his punishment, the Sheikulislam called the sul­ tan and told him that Allah needs no such pretentious spaces and that this would constitute a sin. Furthermore, unless he wanted his own arm to be cut off,he had better ask for forgiveness from the architect. The architect forgave the sultan, on the condition that he would guarantee him a livelihood for the rest of his life. Sultan Mehmet is mentioned in two other stories as well. One of these is related to the new names given to certain places in the conquered city. The neighborhood of Horhor (which today is a haven for antique shops), is said, for instance, to have been named after a fountain. Sultan Mehmet came



across this fountain and noticed that it constantly made the sound ‘‘hor hor, ” hence the name of the neighborhood, Horhor. The other story has to do with a forty-meter-long boat {kciyi^) that the Greeks believed was left by the Venetians while the Turks believed it was built by order of Sultan Mehmet. As stated by the guard of the boat, it is believed that anyone having ill thoughts or expressing negative opinions about the boat suffers disaster. Another group of legends in Carnoy and Nicolaides^ Folklore de Constantinople celebrates various places of the city rather than its rulers. Some of these have to do with today’s touristic hot spots such as Hagia Sophia and the famous tower of Kizkulesi. The story about Hagia Sophia is told in 1887 by a 40-year-old public servant, Hristaki (Jizmeci, working for the mail and telegraph service. According to his account, during the con­ struction of Hagia Sophia, the architect, who was going home for lunch, assigns the task of guarding his tools to his son. But just then, someone comes and asks the boy to fetch his father and says that he will watch over the tools until he gets back. Upon his insistence, the boy agrees. When he informs his father about this at home, the father interprets this stranger as an angel and renounces to go back to work. It is believed, Hristaki states, that the angel who is waiting for the return of the boy is still watching over Hagia Sophia. The legend about Kizkulesi was collected from a 26-year-old theology student from Zile, a Muslim by the name of Yusuf Hacizade. Kizkulesi is the famous white tower located at the entrance of the Bosporus. Giving a rather inarticulate account of the legend, Yusuf Hacizade claims that all the other versions of the Kizkulesi legend are inaccurate, his own being the only correct one. The story takes place once again during the reign of Constantine, when it was discovered that money was constantly being pil­ fered from the palace treasury. The daughter of the emperor assumes the role of protector of the treasury and one night frightens away a thief with a sword. Nevertheless, this thief finds a way to steal from the treasury. With the money he has stolen, he fulfills all the requests of the emperor and man­ ages to marry the emperor’s daughter. On the wedding night, the princess places a statue of herself capable of movement in her place. Unable to for­ give the princess for having previously tried to kill him with a sword, the thief approaches the statue and cuts its head off. Thinking that the princess had been killed, he disappears. Later, he returns to kidnap his still-living wife. He takes her to the mountains and attempts to torture her. However, just when he is about to inflict pain on her, a rabbit appears in front of him that arouses his passion for hunting and distances him from the princess for a while. A villager passing by saves the princess, feigning deafness and trick­ ing the merciless husband. After this incident, the emperor, in order to pro­



tect his daughter, builds a tower, the Kizkulesi, in the middle of the sea, guarded in the front by two lions. The ambitious husband, however, gains access to the tower after distracting the lions by throwing sheep heads at them. When he finds the princess in the tower, he is determined to kill her. He asks her to follow him down the tower, but by doing so gives the princess a chance to escape from him. By staying behind, the princess is able to close the tower’s door from inside, leaving the husband outside with the lions who eventually kill him. The story told by Yusuf Hacizade is a rather controversial account of the known Kizkulesi legends, which usually end with the princess’s death. In the most common versions, the emperor usually learns from a fortuneteller how his daughter will die (from a snake, etc.) and tries to rescue her from this fate by isolating her on an island with a tower where she will not be exposed to any danger. The structure of Yusuf Hacizade’s narrative leads one to suspect that there was a communication problem between the authors and their 26-year-old Muslim informant. The fact that the story does not fol­ low an articulate narrative structure may have derived from translation problems. But Carnoy and Nicolaides do not give any information on how they communicated with their informants, and who their translators were, if any. Part of the stories and legends covered in Folklore de Constantinople are related to the holy places of the city. The authors state that a number of leg­ ends emerged from around a tree in Koca Mustafa Pa§a,now a lower-middle class neighborhood of Istanbul. They also make an analogy between differ­ ent faiths and communities by stating “What Balikli Church is to Greeks, Eyup is to the Turks; and the Church of Djarhaban-Astfadjadjinn represents the same to the Armenians of Karagiimriik.” These places are important sites of pilgrimage for different religions. The authors provide their readers with the legends related to these sites, along with many others such as the Saint-Minas churches in Samatya and the tombs of Merkez Efendi and Uyku Dede. It is important to note how these religious sites assumed new meanings in history. While Eyiip continues to be the most visited holy place in contemporary Istanbul, the tombs of Merkez Efendi and Uyku Dede are of lesser importance for today’s Istanbulites, who prefer other holy sites such as Yu§a Tepesi or Yahya Efendi Tiirbesi. There is one story from outside of Istanbul, which Carnoy and Nicolaides put in their book, probably because they found the narrative intriguing. The story concerns a person by the name of Kel Salih Aga (Salih Aga the Bald) from Sarajevo. Told by Abdurrahman, a 36-year-old Bosnian born in Montenegro, the story begins by Kel Salih Aga leaving his home after being constantly made fun of for his baldness. While traveling down



the road, he happens upon a fairy that does him a favor by making his hair thicker, which has the effect of making him even stronger. Once his fame reaches the sultan, he is sent to do battle with the king of Egypt. Upon his return after killing the king, he requests that the sultan exempt his country from taxes. The request is accepted but when he returns, he is shown evi­ dence that his sister has committed a sin and has her killed. Feeling regret, he has two oak trees pulled up from their roots and has them planted at his sister’s grave. He asks God that if his sister is innocent, that the two trees take root. The roots of the oak trees firmly rooted into the ground. It is not known what became of Kel Salih Aga, but these two oak trees are still seen as the most magnificent trees in the Sarajevo cemetery. Among other interesting stories of Folklore de Constantinople, there is one related to the relationship between Bekri Mustafa and the devil. Bekri Mustafa is the symbol of drunkenness of the old Istanbul, and is still depicted as a hero in movies and in portrayals about the late Ottoman era, when the public consumption of alcohol was prohibited in Istanbul. Another story entitled “The Lunar Year of the Turks, ” attributes the use of the lunar cal­ endar by the Ottomans to the Shiite belief in the martyrdom of Huseyin at the battle of Kerbela. There are also two stories related to Gypsies. The first of these, a legend entitled “The Origins of the Gypsies, ” explains the roots of the term “gingene” (gypsy) in Turkish. According to the legend, collected in 1887 from Haci Huseyin, a 52-year-old laborer born in Isfahan, the term is a combination of “Tchin” and Gulian, ” a sister and a brother who engaged in incest after being touched by satan. The second story is only an explanation of the formation of the wedding ceremony of the Gypsies in the Sulukule district of Istanbul, where Gypsy culture is still alive and has a touristic appeal. F o l k l o r e o f t h e N i n e t e e n t h - C e n t u r y M u s l im I s t a n b u l :M e h m e t H a l i t B a y ri ’s I s t a n b u l F o l k l o r u 15

While Carnoy and Nicolaides^ Folklore de Constantinople consists of stories and legends about different places in Istanbul that were collected from members of different ethnic groups toward the end of the nineteenth centu­ ry, Mehmet Halit Bayri’s book Istanbul Folkloru marks the transition from the nineteenth-century Ottoman Istanbul to the beginnings of the Republican era. Bayri himself stands for a generation of people who were born as the children of the Ottoman Empire and who witnessed the enthusiastic transi­ tion to the newly built nation-state, where collecting folklore was valued and promoted as an amateur enterprise.16 Trained in literature, and a native of Istanbul himself,Bayri had served as a state employee in the Auctions Directorate and the Children’s Welfare Association. His Istanbul Folkloru is



the outcome of a hobby that he adopted while working and living in Istanbul, and perhaps while experiencing the city’s transition from its imperial status toward a more Republican outlook, a time when the new capital of Ankara overshadowed Istanbul as the blossoming national center of arts and sci­ ences. In contrast to Carnoy and Nicolaides^ work, which reflected the cos­ mopolitan nature of the imperial Constantinople, Bayri’s book focused mainly on the Muslim face of the city and those Turkish traditions that would later be associated with the culture of “Istanbulism.” The first part of Bayri’s book opens with a section that explores the his­ tory of the city, beginning with the earliest days of settlement in Istanbul and expanding to stories related to the Ottoman sultans. In subsequent sections, just as Carnoy and Nicolaides had, Bayri includes a variety of legends related to Istanbul, including those about Hazreti Suleyman and \anko Bin Madyan, 17 and other tales of heroic deeds and exploits concerning the conquest of the city and the construction of some of the mosques, as recounted by Evliya (Jelebi. Bayri’s book has a section devoted to the “famous neighborhoods” of Istanbul. Just as Carnoy and Nicolaides were, Bayri was also intrigued by the stories of how these neighborhoods got their names. According to BAYRI, “most of the neighborhoods in Istanbul were given the names of the people who had mosques or mescits1^ built in the area” ( 1972,27). It is possible to include among these neighborhoods, Abbas Aga in Be§ikta§,Firuzaga and Purtela§ Hasan Efendi in Beyoglu, Tulbentgi Husamettin in Eminonu, Fatma Sultan in Fatih, and Cafer Aga in Kadikoy. Some of these still make up the heart of metropolitan Istanbul, including Caferaga and Abb asaga in the districts of Kadikoy and Be§ikta§,and Purtela§ street, which is now more reputed for its gay and transsexual population than its mosque. For researchers interested in Istanbul’s folklore within a historical con­ text, one section of Bayri, s book is of particular importance. It contains folk tales and epics about the harsh winters, earthquakes, and great fires that occurred in Istanbul. On the basis of a manuscript dated 1895, Bayn gives us the text of a rhymed epic (destan) about the 1894 earthquake in Istanbul, which was composed by Huseyin Poyraz,a fireman. It seems that Poyraz still lived at the time Bayri was writing his book, and resided in Kanlica , along the Bosporus. The rhymed epic went like this: Just as I was reading the boo\ in my hand The cry o f “earthquake” was heard in the land Gathering together, friends cried Allah I May he save us, the great and merciful Allah!



My tiny flesh was placed into a grave The shroud wrapped about me reddened by my blood Many cries of grief were heard when I left Resist, though forever w ill the eyes be tearful (B a y r i 1972, 31)19 In contrast to this epic taken from a written text, Bayri mentions the exis­ tence of another epic about the same earthquake, told by a folk poet by the name of Deli Hakki. In spite of his efforts to locate this poet, Bayri could not find him or his earthquake epic. Bayri’s earthquake epics have naturally been recontextualized after the 1999 earthquakes strongly felt in Istanbul. Had these epics been made a part of the collective memory of late twentiethcentury Istanbulites, the earthquakes of 1999 would have perhaps been less of a surprise. Along with earthquakes, other disasters such as those involving fires became an important topic for poems. Istanbul’s fires are an important image of the late Ottoman times, as small and large fires broke out fre­ quently in the city’s residential areas, which consisted mainly of wooden buildings. The numerous fires gave the tulumbaci, the local fire brigades, an important status, and made them a heroic and powerful social group in the city. While not clearly telling where it was collected, Bayri provides his readers with an example of one such disaster epic. This is about a huge fire that broke out in Cellatge§me during Kurban Bayrami, the Holiday of Sacrifice. The epic poem is particularly interesting in that it provides us with particu­ lar portrayals of the members of the fire brigade at the time: As thin Arab was one of us known Another by the name o f Hidayet Bahadir, extremely young and brave were we all Circumstances making us known by all One of our comrades was a courageous Kurd The three o f us became victims In several places were heard the groans of many This was such a disaster we found ourselves Our names we declared at first Everyone loved us with deep affection Happy faced, men both brave and heroic We were as esteemed as saints With our colleagues we sat upon a barge With the mention of fire, all were prepared The lamplighter and leader of the pump squad were in presence Traveling with great speed, weforged ahead (B a y r i 1972, 35).20



Another such epic on fire tells us more about the local fire brigades, and the neighborhoods where they were located around the city. These include today’s central neighborhoods such as Galatasaray and Cihangir of the touristic Beyoglu district, and Aksaray,a center for trade since perestroika: Galatasaray is on the lips o f everyone Beyoglu is well known as the Police Station Confirmed by people universally The name has acquired worldwide fame Hende\, Cihangir, and Topqular The bestfire brigade have they Firuzagalar too has gained repute The Voyvoda reigns over even the flying birds

(...) The hearty Sumbullii isfamous throughout the world Being the nightingale of A\saray neighborhood He is the rose o f the Square of Talents Owing their existence to Sultanselim (Bayri 1972, 36)21 Mehmet Halit Bayri’s Istanbul Folkloru continues with the proverbs and sayings used in Istanbul. Some of the proverbs, which he presents in alpha­ betical order, are still in use today, like uAg ayi oynamaz' (literally, “you can’t get a hungry bear to dance”; meaning, “If you want a man to work well, you have to first feed him ”) and “Damlaya damlaya go l olur” (literally, aA lake is formed drop by drop”; meaning, “Little by little one saves a lot”). The reper­ toire of proverbs that Bayri presents reveals important characteristics of the culture of Istanbulism. A part of these sayings focuses, for instance, on human relations, and reveals a value system within them: “Bilen soylemez, soyliyen bilmez” (“While the truly knowledgeable has no need to speak to prove his knowledge, can the same be said for the one who speaks all the time ?, , ); ^Akrabanin akrabaya a\rep etmez emgmi”(“Even the scorpion does not do the harm one relative does to another, , ); “Her deliye bir uslu kpymu乏lar” (“For every crackpot, they have put an intelligent person, , ); “Dostun

attigi ta^ ba$ yarmaz

(aThe rock thrown by a rnend would not harm the

head”;meaning, “Friendly criticism does no harm , , ); “insan kiymetini insan bilir,altin J^iymetini sarraf,(aHumans appreciate humans, goldsmiths eval­ uate gold , , );or uiyilige iyili\ her l^ in in l^an, kemlige iyili\ er J^inin \dn” (“Goodness to goodness is a profit for everyone, goodness to badness is the profit of the moral man”). Morality and manners were indeed essential values of true Istanbulism.



They functioned to create the boundaries of a moral framework, where the right was distinguished from the wrong, and the good from the bad. Many sayings emphasize the virtues of respect, self-control, patience, honesty, or hard work: “La\irdisim bilmiyen gavu^lar, sonmemi^ ate^i avuglar” (“The sol­ dier who does not watch his words will grasp fire in his hand ”;meaning, “One who doesn’t watch his words, will find himself in trouble, , ); “Musliimanli含in ^arti be基,haddini bilme\ alti” (“The requirements of Islam are five, to know one’s boundaries is the sixth, , );^Deveku^u gibi ucmaga gehnce ayagini, yiike gelince \anadini gostenr (“Like an ostrich, he shows his feet when it comes to flying, but his wings when it comes to carrying some­ thing heavy”;meaning, “Lazy people will always find an excuse to escape work, , );“Sabirla kpru\ helva olur,dut yapra^i atlas (“With patience, sour grapes turn to helva [meaning sweet], and mulberry leaves, to satin, , ); lembele q buyur,sana a\il ogretsin(“Lrive a task to a lazy man, so that he will teach you ways of doing it ; meaning, “the lazy person will always come up with easier ways of doing a task, , ); or ^Uzunqar^inin iist ba^inda bir yalan soyler, alt basinda \endisi de inanir” (“He will tell a lie in the upper part of the Uzungar^i [a market], he will believe it himself when he comes to the lower section ; meaning, “A liar will soon begin to believe in ms own lies”). Some of the proverbs that Bayri has selected give us an idea about the perception or time among the Istanbulites, which promotes “timeliness and efficiency”: lerazi var, tarti var, her i^in bir va\ti var (“There’s a time and place for everything, , );u6gleye \adar di\, ogleden sonra sdf{ (“Done until noon, undone in the afternoon ) ;“Paran fo^sa J^eju ol, i^in yohsa 备ahit ol” (“If you have a lot of money to waste, be a co-signer; if you have time to waste, be a witness, , ); or 'Giindiiz masal soyleyenin hamamda donu galinir” (“If you tell tales during the day, you will find your pants stolen from the Turkish bath ; meaning, if you do things in an untimely manner or at inappropri­ ate time, you’ll have to accept the consequences of your actions ). Some oth­ ers refer the readers to different notions or space”: “Eucegizim evcegizim, sen bilirsin halce^izirn' (“Piome sweet home, only you will know my troubles, , ) ; “Faregeger yol olur (“A mice will pass,and it will be a roaa ; meaning, even an unimportant person may do something that sets a precedent, , );and “Haf{imsiz het^imsiz yerde oturma” (“D on’t live where there is no jud^e or doctor”). Bayri also includes sayings that reflect the subject of folk economy, referring to a world of merchants, market places, and negotiation in Istanbul, famous for its street bazaars: “Kdtii Pazar mideyi bozar (“Bad food from the bazaar will upset the stomach”) ; “Hesabini bilmiyen \asap, elinde ne satir \alir,ne m asaf (“The butcher who can’t keep his accounts straight, will go out of business loosing even his knife ); “ Ucuzdur vardir illeti, pahahdir vardir lezzeti, ,(“If it is cheap, there must be something wrong with it; if it is



expensive, there is a quality in it, , ); “Zenginin gonlil oluncaya \adarfi\aranm cam git^ar” (“By the time the rich get around to doing something for the poor, the poor will die”). Another series of sayings comment on particular situations: uO seller bu kumlan getirdi” (“These floods brought those sands”;meaning, “the conse­ quences remain, , ); “Vardigm yer karanli^sa sen degdziinii J^apa” (“If you walk in the dark, close your eyes too”;meaning, perhaps, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do, , ); “Attan dii^ene timar,deveden dii^ene mezar' (“It’s safer to fall from a horse than a camel”); “Bu da geger, am a insanin cigerini deler de geger” (“This will pass too, but it will pass by piercing your lungs”; meaning, “A painful situation will pass in time too, but its pain will leave a trace in you’’) ;“Balit^ kavaga qiktigi vakjt kpsenin sa\ali da biter” (“When the fish climbs the poplar tree, the beardless man will begin to grow a beard, , );

“Horoz uqtu, hervan goqtii, soz \oca\anya J^aldi” (“The cock flew, the tribe migrated, what remained is the old women’s saying”;meaning, “After all that has happened, only the telling of it remains, , ); or “thtimaldir padiミahim bel\i derya tutu各a” (“Perhaps,your excellency, it is the sea that burned”; meaning, “When you try to justify yourselr in front of your boss, you end up offering grand excuses”). Another important category contains a repertoire of proverbs that have been usea in reference to women and children: “Bahtim olsaydi anamdan t^iz dogardim (“If I had been fortunate, I would have been born as a girl, , ) ; “Cocugun yedigi nelal, giydigi haratrT (“Feeding a child will do more good for him in the long run than dressing him in expensive clothing, , ); aslan aslan da di足i aslan aslan degil m i?” (“If a male lion is a lion, isn’t a female lion also a lion ”;meaning, “Women are as powerful as men even though men usually are thought of as the most powerful, , );uKiz doguran qabu\ trocar” (“Women who give birth to daughters age more quickly , );uOglan yedi oyuna gitti, goban yedi \oyuna gitti” (“The boy left for seven games, and the shepherd for seven sheep ; meaning, “Everybody found themselves an occupation ”) ;or “Oynamasini bilmeyen kiz yerim dar demiも,yenni bollatmi毛lar, yenim dar demi^ (“They say to the girl who is not a good dancer, dance!, She said, ‘I have little place., When they gave her a larger place, she said, ‘my dress is tight,; meaning, “When someone really doesn’t want to do some­ thing, he will always find a ready excuse”). Women’s folklore is further explored in the book with two important genres: ninnis, the lullabies, and manh, the rhymed idioms. Among the eight versions of the “Dan dini dan dim type of lullabies, let us cite two examples: Dan dim dan dim das dana (the calf) The calf has entered the garden



Send, gardener, the calf away So that it wont eat the cabt?age Wont eat the cabbage, but its roots My son eats the sweet lo^um So he sleeps, so he grows ninni, So he walks tipi基 tipi基 ninni22 Dan dini dan dini donatmi^ (decorated) See what God had created My baby’s cnin has a dimple He created his eyebrows li^e a violin s bow, His mouth is a box of sweets His cheeks are the best smelling apples Bring sleep to my baby, his father, N inni my baby ninni23 Lullabies naturally reflect the paradoxical world of the mother, praising the child on the one hand, while calling for help or complaining of fatigue on the other. They also refer to fathers, who are missed, feared, or called to bring food and clothes to their children: I swing his cradle I tie him up, so he won’t fa ll Where is my baby’sfather? He left and dian t come bac\, so I cry.24 I say ninni and I swing My arms have now fallen down Nasty boy w ill not to sleep So I w ill send him his father15 Merry merry merry baby Having a tinned cup baby Bring him food his belovedfather My baby w ill sleep and grow bigger.26 Ending with lines like “D on’t come” or “I wouldn’t give” addressed to fathers, guards, people from the prison, mean neighbors, lame men or shop­ keepers, some of these lullaoies are aimed to scare children so that they will submit to sleep: Hoppala baby hoppala I wouldn’t give my daughter to a lame Let the lame onng some wood



So that he’ll burn it in winter So that he'll wal\ around in summer So that he’ll sleep peacefully.21

Manis, the rhymed idioms, constitute a characteristic genre of Turkish folklore. They consist of four lines, the first two being totally unrelated to the following ones. Usually, in the first two lines there are references to the con­ text in which the mani is told and the last two carry a message of love or political satire (KARABA§ 1981). Bayri gives about two-hundred Istanbul manis, all of them collected in Istanbul but only four having direct references to the city: To market o f Istanbul Rises the sun across it Would ever a man put his heart To a neighbor next to him28 I put grapes to a basket My beloved sat on a hill I married a girl from Istanbul To impress my own local town29 We had desired a community So we came to Kadikoy While the mufti takes our money by force How can he serve Kadikoy30 Baglarba^i Us^iidar Baglarba^i Is your chest a mirror Everyone who comes there tries a scarf on31 Among other folklore genres found in Istanbul Folkloru, are jingles, rid­ dles, and what Mehmet Halit Bayri calls “versified anecdotes” {olgulii fil^ra). Bayri gives two short examples of such anecdotes: “M ai sahibi, mul\ sabihi/Kimdir bunun il\sahibi” (aThis good, s owner, that house’s owner, who is their first owner?, , ; meaning, “D on’t be proud of your possessions; in the end they are really meaningless”); and “Tcqgibi yatasmiz/Ku多giりi \al\asiniz' (“Go to bed like a stone, and wake up like a bird”;meaning,“Problems always seem more serious at night than they do in the morning”). These can still be heard today. A longer versified anecdote” that Bayri reports consists of dialogues between a dirty old man, a young girl drawn into his power, and the girl’s mother. The story reveals many elements concerning Istanbulism,



including details from the daily world of women, such as a warning not to open doors to strangers, waking up early in the morning or asking protec­ tion from a brother. As for the riddles, they are important in two ways: one as forms of oral culture, and another as a demonstration of the material culture of Istanbul. Nature, animals, fruits and vegetables, and objects and furniture make up the world of Istanbul’s riddles. Riddles that touch upon objects give us a glimpse on the material world of the Istanbulites at the end of the nineteenth century. They refer to the precious belongings of “the indoor, ” such as mir­ rors, wall clocks, embroidery frames, braziers, and waterpipes. A major part of the book is devoted to folk medicine and healing meth­ ods practiced in Istanbul. The first section consists of various forms of folk healing, including ‘\mjun dokmeh^ (the custom of melting lead and pour­ ing it into cold water over the head in order to relieve negative energy), uate^ sdndurmel(J (putting out a fever), “乏erbet dokmeh^ (pouring that which is sweet over a patient), sanlil^ hesmet^ (rituals performed to rid someone of jaundice), basma\ (rituals designed to allay the fears of a patient), “tutsulemel(’ (fumigating), ‘\i吹 lamat^ (the practice of waiting for forty days to pass, such as after the birth of a baby), ‘‘ (to have prayers read or recited over the sick person), ‘\an aldirmaJ^ (removing blood from the patient), ana siilu\ sulemet^ (applying leeches to the patient). The other section contains a list of folk medicine used among the people of Istanbul to treat a wide range of ailments ranging from beestings, to nosebleeds, from toothaches to the fall of the umbilical cord, and from mumps to the treat­ ment of corns. Another section related to folk medicine in an indirect way, focuses on beliefs concerning body parts and organs. There are also some proverbs related to death, or others, which emphasize taKing care of the sick, a duty which is considered very important for people living in Istanbul. Bayri also reports that many residents of Istanbul, near to death, procure their shroud and set aside money for their burial expenses, which they give to their rela­ tives for safekeeping. Some even determine their burial sites in advance. Such practices as reciting the “Yasin” (the tnirty-sixth sura of the Koran) and giving alms to the poor upon return from a funeral are just some of the Istanbul customs related to death. Nevertheless, Bayn also reports that con­ tinual mourning following a death is not well received and frowned upon. 1 he extensive coverage of genres related to “folk religion includes say­ ings and beliefs coming from Istanbul on such topics as creation, this life and the afterlife, and heaven and hell. Moreover, religious days and holidays are explored through the customs practiced in Istanbul. Along with ^e\er and Kurban Bayramlan (The Muslim feast following Ramadan and the



Muslim Festival of Sacrifice), there are customs related to significant days such as the first Friday and the fifteenth of the Recep month, the twelfth day of the Rebiiil-evvel month, and the month of Ramadan. While mentioning Istanbul Ramadans,Bayri underlines the livening up of places of entertain­ ment, and such special foods as “giillag” and other special desserts of the Ottoman kitchen.32 In fact, the image of the nineteenth-century Istanbul Ramadan is a dominant one even in today’s public memory. Recreated in a variety of forms, such as in drama, public shows, and television series, the old Ramadans are represented with images of abundant food, nighttime fes­ tivities, the kanto^ song and dance performances, and the Karagoz shadow plays that are always shown in the intimacy of a small neighborhood culture. This representation is a nostalgic remembrance of a “perfect Ramadan, ” which has become an important reference since the rise of Islamic funda­ mentalism in the 1990s,especially in Istanbul. Istanbul’s folk religion is also manifested in certain places of pilgrim­ age, such as Koyun Dede, (Jifte Sultanlar, Piri Pa§a Ayazmasi,Yu§a Nebi, Karacaahmet Sultan, Tuz Dede, and Zembilli Ali Efendi. It is interesting to note that these sites are different from the tombs of Merkez Efendi and Uyku Dede that Carnoy and Nicolaides documented in their Folklore de Constantinople. Bayri describes these places and provides information on the reasons why the people of Istanbul feel compelled to come to these places. He also gives examples from the magical spells used in Istanbul. These include descriptions of how to perform magical spells devoted to love, sour­ ing of relations, separation, childlessness, catching thieves, or blocking talk­ ing and sleeping. These are often passed on in written form, accompanied with an explanation on how to implement them. For example, a magical spell related to bringing back someone from a far away land would be initi­ ated with the following wording: If you want to bring someone back from a far off place, write this spell on seven pieces of paper. For each of seven days, set one of them afire. The person that you want to see so badly will come at once, even if he is in chains! (B a y r i 1972,191)34 Among the other subjects dealt with in Istanbul Folkloru are those con­ cerned with the customs related to adolescence and children’s folklore. Children’s games include universal games such as “puss-in-the-corner, ” “hide-and-seek, ” and “jumping rope.” Other games that are not being played today are interesting because they inform us about the elements that the children of nineteenth-century Istanbul selected from their material world to use as objects of play. The games such as “Yumurtali Tavu!(J



(“chicken with eggs”) ,“Ayine-i Devran” (“wheel of fortune”),“Altin (“the golden cradle”),“Ebe Qildir” (“tagger goes crazy”),“Kadifeci GUzeli” (“the beautiful velvet trader”) ,and a game played by boys, “Orospu Bohgasi” (“the whore’s bag”)reveal elements that children heard, saw, and perceived in the world that surrounded them. These games also show how children selectively captured those elements (whores, velvets, or gold) and drew them into their plays. Providing a detailed account and description of who played these games with charts and narrative explanations, this section of Bayri’s book is an important contribution to the cultural history of Istanbul. Bayn also explores family folklore with a focus on the kitchen habits and mostly on the manners of hospitality. As a sensitive issue of the culture of Istanbulism, hospitality is looked at in terms of both material culture and behavioral patterns. These include the way in which the guest rooms are designed in Istanbul’s households and manners with which guests are received. Bayri’s book ends with a list of sources, written and oral. As aknowl­ edgeable people were consulted in 1946, ” Bayri gives the names of two women and seven men of different professions. Like Carnoy and Nicolaides, he also gives the ages and professions of these informants. No profession is cited for the two women (they were probably housewives), but the profes­ sions of the nine men cited are doctor, librarian, priest, teacher, military commander, state employee, and two retired state employees.35 T o w a r d a N e w P e r s p e c t iv e o n I s t a n b u l ’s F o l k l o r e :F r o m A G e n r e B a s e d A p p r o a c h t o C o m m u n it y E t h n o g r a p h i e s

Both Folklore de Constantinople and Istanbul Folkloru look at the topics of “Istanbul” and “folklore” from a historical perspective. They undoubtedly form a rich source for research on the social history of the late Ottoman and early Republican eras. However, they both represent a genre-centered approach to folklore, looking at various cultural forms rather than at com­ munities and their different ways of life. The survey of a popular genre, the meydan ^iin gives us an idea of what Bayri understood to be “folklore.” The meydan 备iiri refers to the public poetry readings in the minstrel coffeehouses of Istanbul. Bayri distinguishes between the genres of folk tale and teherleme (the rhymed opening of folk tales) and that of the meydan 冬iiri,accepting the former ones as folklore and excluding the last one. To Bayn, the meydan ^iin is not a folklore genre. Like the teJ^ke edemyati (literature of dervish lodges) and the minstrels,folk songs, where the poet is known by name, the public poetry of the coffeehouses can neither be called “anonymous” nor collec­ tive, and thus it lacks two important characteristics that define folklore. In his approach to folklore, Bayri reflects the time in which he wrote. This



approach, which has been questioned and discussed in folklore studies since the 1970s,formed in the 1940s as a predominant perspective.36 Bayri is undoubtedly an insider of the culture of Istanbulism, but he does not give any information on the process of his research. The bibliography he cites at the end of his book reveals that his works on folklore began to be published as early as 1932. Bayri’s sense of rescuing a “dying folklore” by laying out its most important genres is definitely found in his Istanbul Folkloru. Looking at this historical data from the theories and methodologies that the discipline of folklore has adopted since the 1970s makes us think about whether a historical ethnography is possible, and if so, how it can be achieved. Perhaps a historical ethnography could be formulated by using memoirs that date back to the nineteenth century in which we find scenes of how Istanbul folklore was experienced in different communities at that time. Or perhaps through research based on oral histories that reveal narratives of daily life at the end of the nineteenth century. Finally, the genre of the novel of the Ottoman era, however fictional, may also give us glimpses of Istanbulism.37 Regardless of the means used to produce historical ethnography today, the new approach to folklore as “artistic communication” or as “expressive culture” is one that goes beyond the restriction of the “genre” as static cul­ tural forms. Instead, it chooses to study genres in their cultural contexts as produced within historical processes. In other words, the new approach fore­ grounds how new cultural forms emerge within particular groups. According to this perspective, when we speak of “Istanbul folklore” today, we understand it to mean a much larger area of knowledge on how each of the different class, spatial, social, religious, and ethnic groups express their own cultures artistically. The city now consists of over ten million people whose diversity is representative of Turkey at large. Today’s Istanbul reaches from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea through the Bosporus, with neighbor­ hoods and settlements far beyond the Byzantine and Ottoman legacies. It offers a multitude of new cultural forms, with its public performances, the interior designs of its grocery shops, minibus decorations, and tales related to bus and taxi drivers. Its traditional street bazaars (semtpazarlan), religious sites, coffeehouses, tea gardens, billiard houses, folk-song bars, Internet cafes, public baths (hamam)^ women’s hairdressers and m en, s barbershops await new ethnographies. The art of negotiation among the kapaligar^i (cov­ ered bazaar) artisans, the gypsy florists, and the salesmen of the city-boats i^ehirhatlan),invite folklorists to intertextual analysis of a variety of genres that are constantly being formed and performed. In this regard, the genres of the oral and material world of the communities now living in Istanbul need to be explored with an ethnographic approach. Researching the modern



genres of Istanbul folklore will undoubtedly open new windows in develop­ ing a better understanding of the complexities of today’s Istanbul. In the light of the modern approach to genre research, one should see the works of E. Henry Carnoy, Jean Nicolaides, and Mehmet Halit Bayri within their historical contexts. Nineteenth-century Istanbul also had a complex structure, which needs to be further researched and analyzed. In this respect, the works of Carnoy, Nicolaides, and Bayri offer invaluable data for both historians and folklorists who work on the historical folklore of Istanbul. It is interesting to note that the contemporary study of Istanbul folklore is a more neglected area when compared to the research pursued during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. This is why contempo­ rary folklorists should follow the original interest in the city’s folklore, which is best expressed in the pioneering research of these three writers, and begin to produce more ethnographies of Istanbul communities, for the folklore of metropolitan Istanbul is still a vast topic, with its diverse communities, and the multiplicity of the genres it embodies. NOTES I would like to thank Margaret Mills for her comments on an earlier draft of this article, Selma Ozkogak for her collegial assistance in drawing the map, and Sylvia Zeybekoglu for her help in English translations. I . See C arnoy and N icolaides 1894. 2. See Bayri 1972. 3. The old city and the district of Beyoglu are placed at the heart of this image, symbol­ izing the good old times of the cosmopolitan Ottoman Istanbul. 4. The series of “Dictionnaire biographique” compiled biographic data of engineers (1895),politicians (1897),scientists (1899),clergymen (1903), writers (1909) and finally folk­ lorists (1903, Dictionnaire international des folkloristes contemporains). For information on place names in nineteenth-century Istanbul, see MULLER-WlENER 2001. 5. See, 12.6.2002. 6. He says “Que des provinces soient plus riches que d’autres au point de vue legendaire, nous le comprenons, les conditions de milieu, les relations, Fignorance, les croyances etant des facteurs essentiels avec lesquels il faut compter ; mais qu’on pense differencier les contes de Haute Bretagne de ceux de la Bretagne bretonnante, de la Normandie ou du Berry et de la Provence, nous ne Fadmettons pas, la comparaison des recits puises dans les diverses col­ lections nous les montrant identiques de fond quand ce n’est pas de forme.” See, 13.6.2002. 7. See,12.6.2002 8. This work focuses on beliefs and superstitions. Its year of publication is unclear. The year given in the Catalogues of the Bibliotheque Nationale, France, is 1892 while in Folklore de Constantinople 1891 is given (p. vi). 9. Translations from the original work in French are mine. 10. The informants are all male. I I . Carnoy cites this kind of information in Contes Frangais (1885) as well, indicating the



name of his informant along with the date and place of his collection. 12. To give one example of such talismans, one can cite a philosopher who inscribed an image of insect on one of the six marble columns in Alti-Mermer, which was thereafter said to prevent harmful insects from entering the city (CARNOY and NICOLAIDES 1894, 4). 13. The story tells us that Constantine encircled the area of the city walls with a string carrying little bells. His idea was to touch the string, so that all the workers dispersed around the city would start the foundation at the same time. But while the ceremony began with prayers, a serpent caught by a stork fell down and caused the bells to ring in some parts. Some workers mistakenly began their work earlier than others, and it is believed that where the work first began on the wall is where the Turks entered the city in 1453. 14. A muezzin is a Muslim crier of the hour of prayer. 15. The first printing of Bayri’s book was in 1947,followed by a second printing 25 years later in 1972. For this paper I used the second edition. 16. For a history of folklore in the early Republican Turkey, see Arzu OZTURKMEN 1994. 17. According to Stefanos Yerasimos, after the 1453 conquest of the city, Turks have based their foundation myths upon two figures, namely Hazreti Suleyman and Yanko bin Madyan. Hazreti Suleyman is King Solomon, respected by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as the first founder of an earthly order. Yanko bin Madyan, however, is an invented character, who is framed as the first who pointed to the place of the city, the emphasis being that he did so before Constantine, after whom the city is named, had established it. See YERASIMOS 1993, 49—97. 18. Mescit is a small mosque. 19. The original Turkish version is as follows: Elimde kitabim okur iken ah/Hareket oluyor dediler eyvah/Ihvan ile bagira§arak derlerdi Allah/Bize imdat etsiin ol Ulu Siibhan/ Konuldu mezara ku§ kadar tenim/Bo§anan kammdan kizil kefenin/Qok oldu arkamdan eyvah diyenim/Dayanin dii-ge§mi daima giryan. Translations from the vernacular texts are mine and Sylvia Zeybekoglu^. 20. Original Turkish version is as follows: Birimizde ince Arapti §ohret/Birimizin ismi idi Hidayet/Bahadir, tuvana, geng idik gayet/Ahvalimiz halka ilana dii§tiik//Bahadir Kiirt idi refikin biri/Ugiimiiz kazaya ugrattik seri/i§iten ah etse vardir gok yeri/Boyle acaip tufana dii§tiik/Namimiz iptida eyledik beyan/Candan sever idi cemii ihvan/Giiler yiizlii hem de yigit, kahraman/Aziz gibi zi§ana dii§tiik/Arkada§larile bir §ep oturduk/Yangin var dediler hep hazir olduk/Fenerci, borucu mevcut bulunduk/Siirat ile rahi revana dii§tiik. 21 .Original Turkish version is as follows: Galatasaray dilde destandir/Beyoglu Zaptiye adiyla §andir/Bunu tasdik eden halki cihandir/§an verdi cihana bu ismi bala/Hendek, le Cihangir bir de Topgu’lar/Bunlar da en iyi tulumbacilar/Firuzagalilar oldu namdir/Ugan ku§a eder hiikiim Voyvoda/(...) §an verdi cihana yaman Siinbiillii/Aksaray semtinin odur bulbiilii/Meydani hiinerin i§te bir giilii/Sultanselim diye oldu hiiveyda. 22. Dan dini dan dini das dana/Danalar girmi§ bostana/Kov bostanci danayi/Yemesin lahanayi/Lahanayi yemez kokiinii yer/Benim oglum lokum yer/Uyusun da biiyiisiin ninni/Tipi§ tipi§ yiiriisiin ninni. hokum is a jelly kind of candy. 23. Dan dini dan dini donatmi§/Allah neler yaratmi§/Qenesi gukur yavrumun/Ka§lan keman yaratmi§/Gozleri kuvvet halkasi/Burnu kabe hurmasi/Agzi §eker hokkasi/Yanaklari misk elmasi/Uyku getir yavruma babasi/Ninni gocuguma ninni. 24. Be§igini sallarim/Dii§mesin oglum baglanm/Babasi nerde yavrumun/Gitti de gelmez aglanm. 25. Ninni derim sallanm/Artik dii§tii kollanm/Uyumuyor yumurcaV§imdi babasim yollanm. 26. Alayli alayli alayli bebek/Ma§rapasi kalayli bebek/Mama getir beybabasi/Yavrum uyuyup biiyiiyecek.



27. Hoppala yavrum hoppala/Ben kizimi vermem topala/Topal odun getirsin/Ki§in yaksin otursun/Aazin gezsin yiiriisiin/Rahat rahat uyusun. 28. istanbul gar§isma/Gun dogar kar§isina/Adam goniil verir mi/Kapi bir kom§usuna. 29. Uziim koydum sepeteAar oturmu§ tepede/istanbuFdan kiz aldim/§an olsun memlekete. 30. Arzuladik ihvani/Geldik §u Kadik6y’e/Miifti harag keserken/Ne yapar Kadik6y, e. M iifti is an expert of Islamic law. 31.Baglarba§i/Uskiidar Baglarba§i/Senin sinen ayna mi/Her gelen baglar ba§i. Baglarba§i is a neighborhood in the district of Uskiidar in Istanbul. Literally it means tying the head, meaning either to put a scarf on or to take somebody under his or her power. 32. Giillag is a dessert, special to the holy month of Ramadan, consisting of sheets of dough sunk into sweet milk, aromated with rose water. 33. Kanto is a genre of music and dance special to nineteenth-century Istanbul Ramadan entertainments. It is characterized by its lively and joyful rhythms and humoristic lyrics. 34. Original Turkish version is as follows: “Eger dilersen ki bir kimseyi iraktan getiresin, bu tilsimi yedi pare kagida yaz. Yedi giin her birini ate§e birak. Diledigin, ayaginda zincir varsa dahi gele.” 35. The names and ages (in 1946) of these informants are Cevat Alp-Er (66),Firdevs Bali Bey (26),ibrahim Ethem Ogiitgii (72), Maide Bayri (68),Mehmet Siiut (62),Melahat Sabri (44),Naci Ayral (33), §evket Salih (61),Vahdi Kurt (56). 36. Although he expresses his reservations on the matter, Bayri cannot help, however, providing examples from different genres including mystical poems, minstrel’s songs and leg­ ends, all publicly recited in coffeehouses. 37. For a memoir on Istanbul’s kpnal^ (large mansion) life, see AYVERDi 1964. For a novel on nineteenth-century Istanbul family life, see U§AKLiGIL 1939. REFERENCES CIT ED AYVERDi, Sam iha.

1964 ibrahim Efendi Konagi. Istanbul: Fetih Yayinlan. (Reprinted in 1973) BAYRI, M e h m e t H a lit

1972 Istanbul Folkloru. Istanbul: Baha Matbaasi. (First published in 1947) C a r n o y , E. H enry, and Jean NICOLAIDES

1894 Folklore de Constantinople. Paris: Emile Lechevalier Libraire. KARABA§, Seyfi

1981 Butiinciil Tilr\ Budunbilimine Dogru. Ankara: O.D.T.U. Fen ve Edebiyat Fakiiltesi. M u l l e r -W ie n e r , W olfgang

2001 Istanbul, un Tarihsel Topografyasi (Historical Topography of Istanbul). Istanbul: Yapi ve Kredi Yayinlan. O z t u r k m e n , A rzu

1994 The role of the people’s houses in the making of national culture in Turkey. New Perspectives on Turkey 11:159—81. U§AKLIGiL, H a lit Ziya

1939 Ai\~i Memnu. Istanbul: H ilm i Kitabevi. Y e r a s im o s , Stefanos

1993 Kostantiniye ve Ayasofya Efsaneleri, trans. §irin Tekeli. Istanbul: Ile§ti^im Yayinlan. (First published in French as La fondation de Constantinople et de Sainte Sophie dans les traditions turques, 1990)