Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a circular, marking 2023 “The Year of Aşık Veysel”.
In the circular published in the Official Gazette, Erdoğan noted how the great folk poet Aşık Veysel, one of the most significant representatives of the minstrel tradition, left for future generations his invaluable verses on the joy of living, love for nature and humanity, friendship, unity, and solidarity, as well as melancholy, in his works written in plain Turkish.
Pointing out how Aşık Veysel, who was raised in the oral culture tradition and nurtured by folk culture, is one of the cornerstones of the centuries-old rich cultural heritage, Erdoğan said: “UNESCO has included the year 2023 in its list of commemorations and anniversaries, marking the 50th anniversary of Aşık Veysel's passing. Throughout the year, events will be held in Türkiye and around the world to honor the memory of Aşık Veysel, who used his instrument and words to share his philosophy with the world, with reverence and compassion.”
Stating that the events to be organized under this scope will be carried out in collaboration with the relevant public institutions and organizations and will be coordinated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of National Education, President Erdoğan said:
“Among these events, the ones chosen by the Presidency may be conducted under the auspices of the Presidency. Logos, posters, announcements, invitations, advertisements, and other similar documents and visuals related to the events will be used in accordance with the corporate identity, which will be developed in consultation with the relevant institutions. The costs of the planned events will be covered by the relevant public institutions and organisations. In this regard, I kindly request that you take the necessary action to ensure that all public institutions and organisations provide the necessary support, assistance, and facilitation for the best possible execution of the events to be held throughout the year.”.
Who was Aşık Veysel?
Âşık Veysel, a Turkish Alevi ashik and highly regarded poet of Turkish folk literature, was born in the Sivrialan village of the Şarkışla district, in the province of Sivas, in 1894.
He was an ashik, poet, songwriter, and a bağlama virtuoso, a prominent representative of the Anatolian ashik tradition in the 20th century.
He was blind for most of his lifetime. His songs are usually sad tunes, often dealing with the inevitability of death.
However, Veysel used a wide range of themes for his lyrics; based on morals, values, and constant questioning of issues such as love, care, beliefs, and how he perceived the world as a blind man. (ILKHA)
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