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Köroğlu (?-?, probably approx. 16th century. His born Dortdivan-Yukari Sayik)

Poet, resistance hero. Beside his poets that were passed down very little is know about this person. Place of birth and death stay undefined. According to tradition Köroğlu offered resistance against authoritative cruelty. In the literal and figurative sense his name can mean two things: Köroğlu as a name (literal) and Köroğlu as 'the son of the blind' (Kör = blind, oğlu = son), indicating that he always made a stand against injustice by choosing the side of the poor and innocence. His heroic poems and love lyrics led to inspiration for lot's of contemporary artists.

From The Epic of Köroğlu

(What Köroğlu told his troops in the Russian battle)


Let the brave man roar loudly
A thousand years to the mother of the brave man
Let red blood flow noisily in the white guts
May the mother of the brave man live a thousand years.

The drummers beat loudly
Archers fire to right and left,
Curved swords plunge into white chests.
May the mothers of such heroes live a thousand years.

Come gentlemen, let there be war and battle,
Let the brave soldiers stand forth,
Let there be fury by day and night.
May the mother of the brave man live a thousand years.

The real heroes lie in ambush,
Swords at their waists and spears in their hands,
They have eyes of hawks and the faces of lions.
May those who drink blood all live a thousand years.

Köroğlu says let us stand here today
And descend with fury in the morning
Let us make wine out of the flowing blood.
Come, mad Hoylu, may you live a thousand years.


Those who rise and mount their horses
Like hungry wolves in the valley, will win fame.
The brave man fights and fights,
The coward falls from his horse and is slain.

A hero has taken his arrow in his hand,
Striding out on the road to heroism,
His shield in tatters, his armour in holes.
A bloody shirt is mail for a hero.

A hero is firing his arrow,
Plunging his white hands into red blood.
A bad friend is fleeing.
Do not flee, wicked one, turn around.

The enemy is calling out, wailing in lamentation,
The people of the book counsel each other.
Heroes covered from head to foot in armour.
A hero proves his valour.

Köroğlu says there is no point in delaying,
The sparrow thinks it is a hawk.
But when it sees the hawk it hides in the forest
And plays the hero on its own.


I have taken shelter with you and God,
You are my back, my fortress, oh mountains.
My arms are as nothing without you,
You are my back, my fortress, oh mountains.

I speak to you, oh great mountain pasture,
How can I leave this place?
My bow and arrow are of you,
You are my back, my fortress, oh mountains.

I always tested the brow of the Ottoman,
Never found one to capture my heart
As my dear mother.
You are my back, my fortress, oh mountains.


The brave man stays, the coward flees
The battlefield thunders,
The king of kings holds court,
The battlefield thunders.

When the hero sings his praises,
When arrows strike the target,
The weapon strikes the shield,
The battlefield thunders.

The arrow is thrown from his bow,
Justice hides behind his wrath,
The cry of Köroğlu,
The battlefield thunders.