Yunus Emre

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Yunus Emre
يونس امره
Yunus Emre Gedenkstätte in Ortschaft Haci Bektas bei Nevsehir TR.jpg
Statue of Yunus Emre in Hacıbektaş, Turkey
Born1238 CE
Died1321 CE
EraAnatolian beyliks
Known forSufism, Diwan in Old Anatolian Turkish
Muslim leader
Period in office13th and 14th century

Yunus Emre (Turkish pronunciation: [juˈnus emˈɾe]) also known as Derviş Yunus (Yunus the Dervish) (1238–1320) was a Turkish folk poet and Sufi mystic who greatly influenced Turkish culture.[3] His name, Yunus, is the equivalent to the English name Jonah. He wrote in Old Anatolian Turkish, an early stage of Turkish. The UNESCO General Conference unanimously passed a resolution declaring 1991, the 750th anniversary of the poet's birth, International Yunus Emre Year.[4]


Yunus Emre has exercised immense influence on Turkish literature from his own day until the present, because Yunus Emre is, after Ahmet Yesevi and Sultan Walad, one of the first known poets to have composed works in the spoken Turkish of his own age and region rather than in Persian or Arabic. His diction remains very close to the popular speech of the people in Central and Western Anatolia. This is also the language of a number of anonymous folk-poets, folk-songs, fairy tales, riddles (tekerlemeler), and proverbs. Yunus Emre was a Sunni Muslim.[5]

Like the Oghuz Book of Dede Korkut, an older and anonymous Central Asian epic, the Turkish folklore that inspired Yunus Emre in his occasional use of tekerlemeler as a poetic device had been handed down orally to him and his contemporaries. This strictly oral tradition continued for a long while.[6] Following the Mongolian invasion of Anatolia facilitated by the Sultanate of Rûm's defeat at the 1243 Battle of Köse Dağ, Islamic mystic literature thrived in Anatolia, and Yunus Emre became one of its most distinguished poets. Poems of Sultan Yunus Emre — despite being fairly simple on the surface — evidence his skill in describing quite abstruse mystical concepts in a clear way. He remains a popular figure in a number of countries, stretching from Azerbaijan to the Balkans, with seven different and widely dispersed localities disputing the privilege of having his tomb within their boundaries. Yunus Emre's most important book is Risaletü’n Nushiyye. [7]

His poems, written in the tradition of Anatolian folk poetry, mainly concern divine love as well as human destiny:

Yunus'dur benim adım
Gün geçtikçe artar odum
İki cihanda maksûdum
Bana seni gerek seni.[8]

Yunus is my name,
Each passing day fans and rouses my flame,
What I desire in both worlds is the same:
You're the one I need, you're the one I crave.[9]


Araya araya bulsam izini
İzinin tozuna sürsem yüzümü
Hak nasip eylese, görsem yüzünü
Ya Muhammed canım arzular seni

Bir mübarek sefer olsa da gitsem
Kâbe yollarında kumlara batsam
Mâh cemalin bir kez düşte seyretsem
Ya Muhammed canım pek sever seni

Ali ile Hasan-Hüseyin anda
Sevgisi gönülde, muhabbet canda
Yarın mahşer günü hak divanında
Ya Muhammed canım pek sever seni

"Yunus" senin medhin eder dillerde
Dillerde, dillerde, hem gönüllerde
Arayı arayı gurbet illerde
Ya Muhammed canım arzular seni

(Poem about Muhammad, Ali, Hassan and Hussein.)

In popular culture[edit]

  • Yunus Emre: Aşkın Sesi - A 2014 Turkish film based on Yunus Emre's life starring Devrim Evin in the lead role.
  • Yunus Emre: Askin Yolculugu - A 2015 TRT fictional docudrama based on the life of Yunus Emre.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Güzel, Oğuz & Karatay 2002, p. 672.
  2. ^ Ambros 2002, p. 349.
  3. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica (2007)". Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  4. ^ Halman, Talat (2007). Rapture and Revolution. Syracusa University Press, Crescent Hill Publications. p. 316.
  5. ^ Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2017, p. 1670
  6. ^ Edouard Roditi. "Western and Eastern Themes in the Poetry of Yunus Emre", Journal of Comparative Poetics, No. 5, The Mystical Dimension in Literature (Spring, 1985), p. 27
  7. ^ "Yunus Emre'nin Eserleri". (in Turkish). 21 January 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  8. ^ Cevdet Kudret. Yunus Emre. Ankara: İnkılâp Kitabevi, 2003. ISBN 975-10-2006-9, p. 58
  9. ^ Grace Martin Smith. The Poetry of Yūnus Emre, A Turkish Sufi Poet. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993. ISBN 0-520-09781-5, p. 124
  10. ^ "Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey". Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  11. ^ "E 9 - Two Hundred Turkish Lira I. Series". Retrieved 20 September 2014.


  • Ambros, Edith G. (2002). "Yunus Emre". In Bearman, P. J.; Bianquis, TH.; Bosworth, C. E.; Van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W. P. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. 11: W-Z. Brill. p. 349-350.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Güzel, Hasan Celâl; Oğuz, Cem; Karatay, Osman, eds. (2002). The Turks: Middle ages. Volume 2. Yeni Türkiye.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]