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The Popular Turkish Folk Heroes

Turkish Folk Heroes

Who are Turkish folk heroes? A folk hero or a national hero is a type of real, fictional or mythological hero.

What makes a character a popular hero is the imprint he leaves by name, personality and actions on the popular consciousness. This presence is evidenced by the mention in folk songs, folk tales and other folklore.

Below AllTourstoTurkey has prepared for you some information on some of the most popular Turkish folk heroes: Nasreddin Hoca, Karagoz and Hacivat, Yunus Emre, Koroglu.


Nasreddin Hoca is a 13th century comedian, sage and folk hero of the Seljuk period, born in Sivrihisar and residing in Aksehir. His turns of mind are known throughout Turkey and often appear in everyday discussions.

Nasreddin Hoca was a philosopher, a wise, witty man with a good sense of humor. His stories became known around the world, among the tribes of the Turkish world and in Persian, Arab, African cultures and along the Silk Road to the cultures of China and India, ending in Europe. The international festival of folk hero Nasreddin Hodja is celebrated every year from July 5 to 10 in Aksehir, Turkey.

Koroglu was a 15th-century folk poet, a model for his contemporaries, and a popular hero of his time. His adventures have been told for centuries in Turkey and perhaps now with more interest than ever.

Koroglu was one of the first people to launch the ideal of unconditional help for the poor and the oppressed. He was also a great warrior opposed to government control and harassment.

A jester, who is said to have lived in Bursa in the 14th century and is now immortalized as a folk hero of the Karagoz Ghost Puppet Theater.

Karagoz was a rough man of the people who used his saucy wit to defeat his pompous friend, Hacivat. The puppets are made from translucent, cheerfully painted animal skins and are projected onto a white screen.

Yunus Emre is an Anatolian folk poet and mystic who transcended his time. He has become a popular hero these days. This 13th century poet and philosopher is one of Turkey’s national treasures. Its basic theme was universal love, brotherhood, friendship and divine justice. His simple and pure writing is relevant and thought-provoking to this day in Turkey and around the world – Turkish folk heroes.

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