This article looks at the works of two well-known minstrels, one Turkish and one Kurdish, during the early nation-building years of Turkey. While the Turkish minstrel Âşık Veysel composed a eulogy on the Turkish Republic and its founder Mustafa Kemal, Dengbêj Reso performed a lament for Sheikh Said and Khalid Beg Cibrî, the two Kurdish leaders of the 1925 Sheikh Said Revolt. Oral traditions can be essential sources for anthropologists, folklorists, and historians in the investigation of political and historical consciousness. Similar to oral poetry in other parts of the world, Turkish and Kurdish oral poetry represent past events in politically charged ways, communicating a range of popular political stances. Rather than providing a peaceful resolution to the conflict between the Turkish Republic and the Kurds in 1925, the two pieces under consideration promote and perpetuate conflict by means of their common and yet contrasting references to the rope by which Sheikh Said was hanged.


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pp. 71-103
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