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HISTORICAL TRUTH AND INTERPRETATION MATTER OF NASREDDIN HOCA JOKES

Abstract

Author(s): Mustafa ULUÇAY

NasreddinHoca is a character who became a universal identity through wide geographical area from Yugoslavia to Japan; also enshrined not only Anatolian people but also every Turkish and Balkan people. How much of the information we know about NasreddinHoca, whose fame grew beyond his landing and became global, are real? What is the historic, philosophical, spiritual and sociological truth behind the jokes imputed on him? When the jokes imputed on Nasreddin Hoca, who is a scribe and hodja according to historical sources, are observed we can determine many jokes which does not incompatible to his character and world-view he represents. Whereas, many jokes written or told as Nasreddin Hoca jokes either belong to someone else or made up later on or has figurative meaning. Purpose of this article is set forth Nasreddin Hoca, one of the most important bearer of our culture, with his historical character, study if the jokes imputed on him whether appropriate to historicity, and determine the ways to be followed in order to correctly interpret the jokes that are assumed to be his. In accordance with such purpose, firstly perspective to humor in TurkishIslamic culture addressed and then historicity of jokes imputed on Nasreddin Hoca is studied and subject of interpreting the jokes assumed to be close to be the real is handled. Other written sources which address Nasreddin Hoca also handled and perspectives on Nasreddin Hoca and his jokes in such texts are studied. Afterwards, moved on to the subject of interpreting the jokes which are assumed to belong to Nasreddin Hoca. Nasreddin Hoca is an important cultural bearer and historic symbol character. Regarding cultural and education life, familiarizing such historic and cultural symbol with real identity and character is important as constructing and reclaiming historical buildings, and may be even more important.

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