Mankurt, Bashibozuk, Ottoman Torments And The Others



There is a very interesting book about mainly Ottoman and some European, Chinese Torments written and drawn by very famous cartoonist (caricaturist) Bahadir Boysal in Turkey. He portraits in this Turkish book with his own extremist style what is behind th
e usual history. I show one page from this book. What here on the image written in Turkish doesn't much differ from Wikipedia version.

From Wikipedia:
The term mankurt comes from a Turkic myth popularized by Chinghiz Aitmatov in his novel The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years ("И дольше века длится день"), a philosophical tale about what can happen to people if they forget their motherland, language, and history.

The Kazakh legend mentioned in the novel is about a cruel way of making a mankurt, a man that forgets everything but basic activities and thus becomes an ideal slave. A fresh raw camel hide would be put as a cap on the thoroughly shaven head of a captive. The slave with his hands tied and with a large wooden stock around his neck preventing him from reaching his head would be left in desert for several days. Once the hide would start drying it would shrink and bind to the head, thus making a hoop and "squeezing" all sanity out of the man. What is worse, the hair is not always able to grow through the camel's hide so it often curls back and the strong Asian hair would penetrates the scalp again causing a pain beyond endurance. Removing completely the camel's hide from the scalp is not always possible and those mankurts (e.g. the son of Nayman-Ana in Aytmatov's novel) are so ashamed of having such a headgear that they are always wearing a cap, day and night and would not doff it for anything in the world.

If the man happens to survive the torture, he would be recuperated and become like a dog to his master, not remembering anything from his past, even his own name nor his own mother.

This legend and the story around it are of central symbolic nature in Aitmatov's novel.

Today the word mankurt is often used by many nationals of republics of the former Soviet Union of Turkic kinship (Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan, Kazakhstan, etc.), with respect to their fellow citizens who don't care enough about the native language and native culture; e.g., speak only Russian. It is also used in Turkey in reference to the wholesale adoption of Western approaches to world politics and the zeal for entry into the EU manifested by sections of the educated elite.

Here is my translation of this drawing.

Bachibouzouk : Ottomans, in European invasions, in front of the army put mad people whom they have picked up from different places of empire in the beginning of war. The opposite army became in a shock that they couldn't manage to gather strength when they had seen such horde of crazy attacking ,shouting army in their strange, kitsch costumes mostly nude. Our Anatolia is very colorful, it has many crazy people. This crazy horde such affected Europe that even this Turkish word passed to European languages and literature without a change.

now my poor comments : yeah, bashibouzuk means in turkish exactly 'crazy head', 'the head gone mad'. ok what we have in english from turkish: kebab, yoghurt, baklava, doner etc and bashibouzuk. is there a relation between good food taste and craziness? anyway let's eat sweet let's talk sweet in turkish we say as an idiom. come on, take us to the european union, result of this article that i personally promise that i will not get on the horses and attack anywhere. i am calm. pleaseeeee

p.s here is wiki's bashibozuks. they don't look like terrible and crazy at all. i prefer bahadir boysal's caricatures.





 
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