Nasreddin  Hodja

Turkish Folk Wisdom

hero of jokes

He was born in 1208 in Hortu village of Sivrihisar district of Eskişehir. His father is Abdullah Efendi, the imam of Hortu village, and his mother is Sıdıka Hatun from the same village. First, he studied at the madrasah in Sivrihisar. Upon his father’s death, he returned to Hortu and became a village imam. He settled in Akşehir in 1237. He listened to the lectures of Seyyid Mahmud Hayrani and Seyyid Hacı İbrahim here. He continued his studies on the religion of Islam. According to a rumor, he taught classes in the madrasah and served as a judge. Because of these duties, he was given the name ‘Nasuriddin Hâce’. Later, this name took the form of ‘Nasreddin Hodja’.

Information about his life has been mixed with rumors because of the public’s excessive love for him. In places, the knowledge of his life acquired extraordinary and ridiculous qualities.

Among these rumors, there is information such as that he met the Seljuk sultans, became close to Mevlana, talked to Timur, who lived 70 years after him, and appeared in several places. He died in Akşehir in 1284.


Nasreddin Hodja’s value is the one he lived in not by events, but by the delicacy of satire and ridicule elements in the humorous jokes that he and the people tell from his mouth.The focus of the elements that make up the jokes about him is love, satire, praise, ridicule, ridicule, self-contradiction, and preferring tolerance with a very subtle expression without contradicting the basic assumptions of religion. While saying these, he takes on contradictory qualities such as knowledgeable, ignorant, shrewd, docile, callous, shy, aggressive, confused, cunning, cowardly, and dashing. Especially being in contradiction with the situation of the other person is the general feature of his humorous jokes. These features constitute the products of thought that reflect the attitude of the Anatolian people towards certain events. Nasreddin Hodja is revealed as a focus of humor, reflecting the feelings of the people.

The person being told uses the mouth of the speaker, so that the people can make their voice heard with the language of Nasreddin Hodja. Nasreddin Hodja appears in all his anecdotes, not as an abstract entity, but in connection with a lived event, a phenomenon. Expresses the reaction or approval felt in the face of the event with one of the humorous types. The events he witnessed usually took place in public.


Another feature of Nasreddin Hodja’s anecdotes, reflecting the feelings of the people in his personality, is the place of the donkey. .Everybody adores the beautiful jokes of this great folk philosopher which maintain their actuality in all ages. The historical sources state that Nasreddin Hodja was born in Hortu village of Sivrihisar district of today’s Eskişehir in 1206. Rumor has it that he conducted his primary education in Hortu in Abdullah Hodja’s medresah, and passed his days of childhood in Hortu. He settled down in Sivrihisar with his family because of scarcity in Hortu, and continued his education there.

Sivrihisar is a tiny but cute town of Seljukian period of that day. Young Nasreddin saw the first minaret there, went to Turkish Bath with his friends, and tore out green almonds from gardens. His playing the cock to the children who said they laid eggs in the bath, his being caught by the garden owner while he was stealing fruits from the tree and answering the question (What are you doing on the tree?) that (I am a nightingale) and his chirping like a nightingale are among his childhood memories in Sivrihisar.

Nasrettin Hodja went to capital city Konya to proceed his education later on. Nasreddin Hodja settled down in a medrasah in Konya and started his education. In those days, he lived an event.One night, the Chief Inspector of the city found a big bayonet with Nasreddin Hodja. Nasreddin Hodja said: (I beg your pardon. I am a medrasah student. I scrape of mistakes on the books with that). The Chief Inspector asked: (What is the need for such a long bayonet for one mistake?), and he gave the best reply: (Sometimes there are such mistakes on books that even this bayonet is not enough!).

We see that he worked as shade kadi for some period after he graduated from medrasah in Konya. Shade kadis are candidate kadis working with experienced judges and hearing some tiny cases. One of his kadi memories is: one day a man who said (Hink) in front of a person breaking firewood claimed his right from the woodcutter, and applied to the court when he did not. Nasreddin Hodja clinked a money bag of coins while hearing that case and judged (Now take the sound of coins).

Nasreddin Hodja, who resigned from his duty as a kadi, and left Konya to migrate to Akşehir on great scholar Seyid Mahmud Hayrani’s settling down in Akşehir, now found his personality and analyzed events with the eye of a specialized sociolog. We see Nasreddin Hodja as a suffering, hoping, worrying person who drowned his worries with a joke.

He went to a feast with his new fur, and upon his being esteemed, said (Eat my fur, eat) to criticize the evaluation of the community taking merely appearance as a basis, he revealed the truth of greed in the story of bearing cauldron.

That he replied people laughing because he fell from his donkey that: (Why are you laughing? I was about to dismount already), and his looking for his lost donkey singing a folk song and replying those who asked why he did so: (I have my last hope behind that mountain, see my lament if I cannot find it there too…), are all among anecdotes of his colorful and multidimensional life.

Nasreddin Hodja married in Akşehir and had children. The gravestones of his two daughters, Fatma Hatun and Durr-u Melek, were found in recent years and were taken to Aksehir museum.

He has a joke. He gave a jug to one of his daughters to fill from the spring, and warned not to break strictly, and slapped. Those who saw rebuked Hodja (Why did you slap, what did she do?) Hodja’s answer is gives a lesson: (Not to break the jug… What is the use of it if I slap after she broke it? If I slap before, she would take care, and not break it…) On one of the gravestones, there is the picture of Durr-u Melek too.

He died in 1284 in Aksehir when he was about to be eighty. A domed tomb bore by six columns was constructed on his grave. Under the dome, there is a marble coffin pertaining to Nasreddin hodja.There is the Seljukian period lock for symbolic purposes to lock the Tomb, which is open in all sides.

Nasreddin Hodja’s death was his rebirth. His sound idea structure which formed as a basis for community maintained its validity each elapping year and centuries made him younger, and his reputation went beyond Turkey borders and was heard in all over the world. Today, Nasreddin Hodja is a man of humanity.

People of Aksehir arrange festivals each year in July for their Nasreddin Hodja, whom they like very much. Goodness and happiness messages are spread to our world, which could not rest in peace, from Nasreddin Hodja in those festivals.


Nasreddin Hodja’s grave found
20 April 2013
< br/> It has been determined that the stone coffin, which has been preserved in the library of the Ulu Mosque for years, belongs to the tomb of Nasreddin Hodja.

Anadolu University Faculty of Letters Head of Art History Department Prof. Dr. Erol Altınsapan, AU Faculty of Letters, Turkish Language and Literature Faculty Member Assoc.Mehmet Mahur Tulum’s tombstones and stone coffins in the library of the Ulu Mosque in Eskişehir’s Sivrihisar district began to be examined for a while.

Assoc. Dr. Stating that after the studies in Tulum, it was determined that one of the stone sarcophagi belonged to Nasreddin Hodja, Prof. Dr. Altınsapan noted that it was determined that this stone sarcophagus had characteristics unique to the Seljuk period.

Dr. Altınsapan reminded that in Turkey, it was said that Nasreddin Hodja’s son and daughter died in Sivrihisar and he died in Akşehir and said, “Associate Professor Dr. Tulum wanted to look at my old photographs of the stone chest. He determined that it belonged to Hodja. The historical uncertainty about the whereabouts of Nasreddin Hodja’s grave, who was born in the village of Hortu in Sivrihisar, is over,” said Assoc. Dr. Tulum, on the other hand, emphasized that with the deciphering of this stone sarcophagus, it is certain that Nasreddin Hodja was born and died in Sivrihisar.


Nasreddin Hodja in 28 countries
9 May 2013

28 countries came together to make Nasreddin Hodja a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage under the moderation of Turkey.

Nasreddin Hodja, who has been told with his jokes from generation to generation for centuries with his wit, wit, and humor, brought together so many countries in a two-day workshop for the first time in the world, within the framework of a common cultural heritage.
< br/> President of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Turkish National Commission, Öcal Oğuz, made a statement about the workshop to be held under the moderation of Turkey, and stated that Nasreddin Hodja is highly valued in a wide geography outside of Turkey.
< br/>


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Adblock Detected