Leyla and Mecnun Ferhat ile Sirin
Saint Valentine was a 3rd century Roman priest who was martyred on February 14th and is associated with Romance and Valentines. The legend is that Valentine was imprisoned for helping the Christians, and during his captivity he fell in love with the blind daughter of his captor. While Before his execution Valentine healed the daughter’s eyesight and left her a letter signed “from your Valentine”. Whether there is any truth to this stories, we will never know, as it is lost to history.. Some great love stories have been told and re-told for centuries and still carry on their attraction until today. These dramatic little tales became endearing for people and they were held onto over the years, filling many long nights of storytelling. Following are examples of Love Stories from the Turkish culture: Maiden Tower: Another legend, (some people incorrectly call it "Leander's Tower") is a tragic love story told by Ovidius, a famous Roman Poet known in the English speaking world as Ovid:: One of the Priestess of Aphrodite named Hero was living in the tower. One day Hero left the tower to attend a ceremony in the Temple where she met Leandros, a handsome young man. They fall in love with each other.and Leandros would swim to the tower every night to visit his love. Hero would hold a torch to guide him in the dark waters towards her in the tower. but on a stormy night Leandros couldn't see the light because it was put out by the winds, and he swam all night losing his way and drowned. Hero, devastated that her lover ha died threw herself into the water from her grief and died. Some people narrate this love story as if it happened on the Bosphorus, but in fact it's a legend from the Dardanelles, when Leandros was swimming to Hero between Abydos (today's Eceabat) and Sestus (today's Canakkale city). Kizkulesi on the Bosphorus Kizkulesi is dated back to the 5th century BC when it was built by the Athenian general Alcibiades. It is situated on a rock at the entrance of the Bosphorus for the surveillance of the waterway. A chain was pulled from the land to the tower to make it a checkpoint and customs area for the ships going through. After several restorations in wood and stone, Emperor Alexius Comnenos built a strong defense tower in the 12th century AD calling it Arcla, meaning "Small Tower". The tower was used as a lighthouse and control tower also during the Ottoman period after the Conquest of Constantinople. Final restoration was done in 1998 and it was opened as a restaurant after the the latest restoration cost of around 3 million US dollars. The tower was featured in one of the James Bond movies in 1999; "The World Is Not Enough", where terrorists placed a nuclear submarine underneath the tower to be exploded in the heart of the city and where "M" (Judi Dench) was imprisoned by an oil tycoon's daughter (Sophie Marceu) which Bond (Pierce Brosnan) had to kill.. Today, Kizkulesi is a very popular and classy restaurant and cafeteria-bar. It offers 360 degree views of the Bosphorus and the old city. It is a spectacular view especially at night. There are several shuttle boats going to the tower at certain times from the Kabatas neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul and from the Salacak neighborhood on the Asian side. It is also a popular place for summer weddings. The tower is closed on Mondays. Leyla and Mecnuns: Leyla’s mother takes Leyla out from school and forbids her from seeing Kays. Kays suffers greatly from this separation and goes mad. People start to call him Mecnun (which means crazy in Arabic). Mecnun wanders the deserts and replaces his material love for Leyla with divine love. Leyla goes after him, but when she finds him Mecnun does not recognize her material being. Understanding that Mecnun’s love for her turned into a greater, divine love, Leyla gives up going after him and dies of her misery. After her death, Mecnun cries in her grave and begs God to take him too. God hears his prayers. The two become one, defeating Time and material being. Kerem ile Aslı: Aslı and Kerem’s tale is another dramatic and sad story without a happy ending. The story starts with a shah without an heir for his wealth. The shah asks for help from a monk, also childless. The monk plants one apple tree for his wife and one for the shah’s wife. The tree planted for the shah’s wife blossoms and gives an apple, but the other does not. The two women share the only apple, a daughter named Asli, and promise to marry their children if the magic of the tree works for the monk.. Indeed, it works and the shah becomes a father of a son, Kerem. However, the monk does not want his daughter Aslito marry a Muslim, so he finds another man to for his daughter. to marry. When Kerem learns this, he quickly reaches Aslı and marries her straightaway. Upon this, the monk curses a shirt and gives it to Kerem as a gift. After the wedding, when Kerem and Asli are alone, Kerem unbuttons the shirt, but it buttons back up immediately. After many unsuccessful attempts, Kerem cries out, a cry with such sorrow that he bursts into flames. Aslı tries to help him by bringing water, but it is of no use. The flames get bigger. Kerem dies in agony, and while mourning his loss Aslı’s hair catches aflame. She joins her lover in death. Ferhat ile Sirin: This is a story of magical impossibility. A queen in Azerbaijan has a castle built for her beautiful sister Şirin and summons Ferhat to ornament it. When Ferhat and Şirin see each other, they fall in love instantly. However, the queen is also in love with Ferhat and she does everything to prevent them from being together. A king, who sees Ferhat as a son, learns the situation and offers his help. The king declares war against the queen but the son of the king falls in love with Şirin as well. The king is puzzled and sends Ferhat to do an impossible task: crack through a mountain to bring water from one village to another. While Ferhat is out in the mountains, working on his quest, an old lady, possibly the queen in disguise, comes and tells him that Şirin has passed away. Desperate, Ferhat kills himself. When Şirin learns that her lover is dead, she kills herself as well. The two are buried next to each other. Come spring, a red rose blossoms on Ferhat’s grave and a white one on Şirin’s, but there are always thorns between them. The two cannot become one. Hasan and Emine: Around Mount Ida, this is the story of two lovers whose suffering was so great that there is now a pond and a tree bearing their names. Emine and Hasan meet at a village market. In time, they become lovers. They can only see each other once a week, so they decide to get married. However, Emine’s mother does not think Hasan is suitable for her daughter, and so she gives a task to Hasan according to tora (a set of unwritten social rules). He has to carry a 50-kilogram bag of salt on his back from one village to another. Because Hasan loves Emine so much, he accepts the task. The two start the way together but after a few kilometers, the salt starts to burn Hasan’s back. He cannot stand the pain and drowns in the pond quietly. Without realizing that Hasan has died, Emine walks all the way to the village. When she realizes her beloved is not with her, she panics and starts looking for him. She finds Hasan’s shirt floating in the pond. Emine cannot bear the fact that Hasan is dead, so she hangs herself from a plane tree near the pond with his shirt. Ever since those long-ago times, the plane tree is known as Emine and the pond is called Hasan Boğuldu (Hasan drowned).