KEREM AND ASLI
Kerem and Aslı is one of the well-known Anatolian stories of Turkish Folk Literature which is arised in the 16 th century during the period of the Ottoman Empire. It is a heart breaking love story of two young people which has been told for ages.
In , there is a Sultan who is liked by everybody because of his sense of justice. He is a very sad man in spite of his wealth and glorious life because he hasn’t got any children.
His keeper of a treasury is an Armenian priest who hasn’t got any children neither . One day Sultan of Isfahan shares his chagrin with the priest . He tells Sultan that in order to be happy and forget about his despair he should have a magnificent garden made and have a gorgeous palace built in it. Sultan does what the priest suggests him to do.
One day Sultan’s wife (Hanım Sultan) and the priest wife (Iriskin) see a holy old man while they are walking in the garden. They tell him that God doesn’t give them any children .They wish they could be mothers of beautiful babies. The sage gives two saplings to them , one is apple sapling and the other is pear sapling. Then he wants women to plant them in their garden. He says that they will have children as soon as these young trees grow and each gives a fruit.
Seven years after, both Sultan and the priest have children. Sultan has a son whose name is Ahmet Miza and the priest has a daughter whose name is . As soon as two babies are born they become “besik kertmesi” which means that they are engaged to be married in the future ( Besik Kertmesi is form of marriage. The daughter’s future husband-to-be decided by the father immediately after her birth. )
Unfortunately, Kara Sultan’s father is not a warm hearted man. After many years ,he breaks his promise . Kara Sultan becomes a beautiful young lady and he thinks that Sultan’s son doesn’t deserve his pretty daughter. Just after he tells everybody that his daughter has died, he leaves Isfahan. ( In the story it is said that , Kara Sultan’s father is not a priest , after he quits Isfahan , people believe that he moves to a palace with his family to live out of the world).
One day Ahmet Mirza goes to the village where Kara Sultan lives . He comes across with her in a garden while she is sewing embroidery hoops (gergef) .
He falls in love with her all of a sudden ……..
Afterwards he finds out that this beautiful young lady is a daughter of the keeper of a treasury.
Kara Sultan says “ Please ,be kind and leave me alone!” ( “Kerem” means “kindness”)
Ahmet Mirza “ Why do you want me to leave you? What is the essence of your wish?” (“Aslı” means “essence”)
Than Ahmet Mirza calls her “Aslı”, she calls him “Kerem”.
Later Kerem gets back home and tells his father that he has found Kara Sultan in a village . He also tells how much he loves this lady and how much he wishes to marry her.
Sultan talks to father of Aslı and wants him to let her daughter marry to Kerem.
Aslı’s father says that he needs some time to think about it but a few days later he escapes from them… Then their advantures starts….
They spend years and years escaping from Kerem who also spends years with his best friend Sofi and his “saz” ( a string instrument) trying to find them.
At last ,Kerem finds Aslı in Halep. Sultan of Halep decides to help Kerem as soon as he learns the story because he pities them .
Finally Aslı’s father gives them a permission …
Unfotunately, Aslı’s father prepares a bewitched wedding dress and tells Aslı to wear it at the wedding.
At their wedding night Kerem tries to unbutton Aslı’s wedding dress but he can’t do that . After many tries he gets bored says “offfff” but suddenly he flares up and then his body becomes burning …Aslı waits next to his body’s ashes during forty days and forty nights . She keeps crying all these time in front of Kerem’s ashes. One day a strong wind diffuses the aches and Aslı tries to sweep the ashes with her hair which flares up and her body burns too……..
The wind blends their ashes…..