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Ulu Ozanlar

Nesimi
02 Aug 2016
Pir Sultan Abdal
02 Aug 2016
 

Pir Sultan Abdal

02 Aug 2016

Pir Sultan’s birth and death are not known. Information of his life has been gathered from his poems, his relatives, friends, folk tales and other great Ozan’s and Poets of his time. His story has been passed down from generation to generation.

Legends suggest that he was born in the village of Banaz, connected to the city of Sivas. Pir Sultans followers and supporters still visit Banaz today and know it to be a virtuous place.
Pir Sultans actual name was Haydar. Most believe that he migrated from the Horasan valley in Iran to Sivas.
As a child he was a shepherd. Even as a 7 year old child the town’s people described him to be logical, mature and smart. Like any other person in Anatolia he researched into local poets and spiritual people such as Yunus Emre, Sah Ismail and other great Alevi leaders in the region such as Hace Bektas.
Pir Sultans guide and ‘Pir’ was a student of Hace Bektas, his name was Ali Baba. Pir Sultan entered Ali Baba’s Tekke in order to be educated as a dervish and as an Alevi guide.
Pir Sultan had many supporters in Anatolia. Both Alevi and non-Alevi people supported him. Everyone respected and supported his cause against injustice and against the Ottoman Empire; the empire exploited the people. The empire killed and oppressed any one which was against it. Pir Sultan was a part of the resistance against the Ottomans.

Şalvarı şaltak osmanlı                                               Your shalwar is Loose Ottoman
eğeri kaltak osmanlı                                                  Are you a whore ottoman
ekende yok biçende yok                                           You neither supply nor harvest              
yiyende ortak osmanlı                                               But you are ready to eat when you want         
 
(This poem by Pir Sultan suggests that the Ottomans exploited the people and that they did not have morals. While they preached religion to citizens and others, they themselves were ready to sell their beliefs and principles for wealth and power.)
 
 
One day, a man called Hizir came to Pir Sultan’s Ocak in order to be educated and in order to enter the Alevi path (Yol). He was a desperate man, he had no food, no wealth and no family. Pir Sultan respected him and provided him with a home, with food and with a job. Pir Sultan accepted Hizir and gave him a new home for 7 years.

The Ottoman Empire and its leaders realised that Pir Sultan was gaining support from hundreds of thousands of people. Everywhere Pir Sultan went to, the Ottomans started to see rebellions and resistance against their injustice. Pir Sultan’s movement was like the civil rights movement (Freedom) and one against exploitation.

And so the Ottomans wanted to stop him. They could not attack him from the outside, so they wanted one of his own supporters to betray him.

Meanwhile, Hizir wanted to join the government and one day Hizir asked Pir Sultan if he will allow him to go to Istanbul in order to be educated and to be a part of the empire. He wanted to be a powerful man. Pir Sultan replied…

‘… I will allow you to go to Istanbul, Hizir…you will be educated and you will gain power’
‘… you will come back to Sivas as a Lord, and you will hang me Hizir…’
Pir Sultan says this, but still allows him to go and wishes him a safe journey.

After many years Hizir came back to Sivas, and he came back as an Ottoman Lord (Pasa). He accepted wealth and power before principles. He forgot about his loyalty to his community and started to support the oppression of the Ottomans against the oppressed Alevi and other minority communities. Hizir forgot about his loyalty to his path and forgot his principles.

Hizir Pasa appointed 2 Kadi’s (Ottoman Judge) in Sivas called Kara Kadi and Sari Kadi. These two Kadi’s were very corrupt. They accepted bribes from the wealthy and powerful and punished innocent people. They were tyrants and they thrived on injustice.

Pir Sultan Abdal named his two dogs Kara and Sari Kadi after the two corrupt Ottoman men. The Kadi’s hear that Pir Sultan had named his dogs after them and so they arrested Pir Sultan. They ask Pir Sultan about the names of his dogs. Pir Sultan does not lie and says ‘Yes, I named my dogs after you, but they are better than you because my Dogs are not tyrants and they do not eat exploited food, my dogs are not evil.’

The Kadi’s replied by saying that Pir Sultan is lying and that he could not know if his dog’s know the difference between exploited food (Haram) and non-exploited food (Helal). Pir Sultan replies by saying, let us test this.

Pir Sultan says ‘Huuuuuu’ with a loud voice and his dog’s appear. The people prepare two seperate meals, one which was exploited and stolen (Haram) and one which was not exploited from the people (Helal).

The Kadi’s eat first, and they eat the exploited food and they enjoy it very much. Pir Sultan’s dogs first smell the food and instantly eat the food which was made by the people, for the people and the food which was not stolen (exploited).
Pir Sultan kisses his dogs and says ‘a good dog is greater than a bad Kadi’
Pir Sultan picks up his saz and sings a Deyis

Koca başlı koca kadı 
Sende hiç din iman var mı 
Haramı helali yedi 
Sende hiç din iman var mı 

Fetva verir yalan yulan 
Domuz gibi dağı dolan 
Sırtına vururum palan 
Senin gibi hayvan var mı 

İman eder amel etmez 
Hakk'ın buyruğuna gitmez 
Kadılar yaş yere yatmaz 
Hiç böyle bir şeytan var mı 

Pir Sultan'ım zatlarımız 
Gerçektir şöhretlerimiz 
Haram yemez itlerimiz 
Bu sözümde yalan var mı

The Kadi’s put their heads down in embarrasment. And release Pir Sultan.
 
A short while after this incident, Hizir Pasa releases a new law (Fatwa) saying that no one can say Sah (Alevi word for leader). If anyone says Sah, they would be killed. Sah, in Alevism means leader and most importantly it represents Sah Ismail and Kalende Celebi (other great Alevi poets and leaders) and the word Sah also represents Ali and Ali ultimatley represents humanism for Alevi’s where all humans are treated equally and with respect. So the banning of the word Sah, meant that Pir Sultan and other Alevi’s were no longer free to beleive in humanism and were no longer free to live their culture.

Pir Sultan responded to the unjust Fatwa with the following Deyis:

“Fetva vermiş koca başlı Kör Müftü
Şah diyenin dilin keseyim deyü
Satır yaptırmış Allah’ın laneti
Ali’yi seveni keseyim deyü
 
Şer kulların örükünü uzatmış
Müminlerin baharını güz etmiş
On ikiler bir arada söz etmiş
Aşıkların yayın yasayım deyü
 
Hakkı seven aşık geçmez mi
Korkarım Allah(tan, korkum yok senden
Ferman almış Hızır Paşa Sultan’dan
Pir Sultan Abdal’ı asayım deyü”
 
Pir Sultan travles far and wide in order to promote the word Sah. He continues the movement of freedom and equality for Alevi’s. He shows no signs of fear and the movement for and all that it represents increases day by day.

Pir Sultan’s enemies tell Hizir Pasha that he is not abiding by the law. Hizir Pasa calls for the arrest of Pir Sultan.

Pir Sultan is arrested and is brought to Sivas. Hizir Pasa sets out a feast for the Pir and asks him to eat.

Pir Sultan replies ‘You have exploited the people Hizir! You have stolen! You have oppressed the people! You are unjust! My dogs wont even eat the exploited and stolen food that you have here!’

Hizir Pasa feels insulted and puts the Pir in prison. He later regrets this decision after a couple of days becuase after all, Pir Sultan used to be his very own Pir. So he brings the Pir back to the palace and says to him

‘Pir Sultan, I will forgive you, if you write a deyis which does not have the word Sah in it’
 
Pir Sultan picks up his Saz and sings this deyis:

Hızır paşa bizi berdar etmeden 
Açılın kapılar şaha gidelim 
Siyaset günleri gelip yetmeden 
Açılın kapılar {zindanlar} şaha gidelim 

[Gönül çıkmak ister, şahın köşküne 
Can boyanmak ister, Ali müşküne 
Pirim Ali on ik'imam aşkına 
Açılın kapılar şaha gidelim]

Çıkarım bakarım kale başına 
Mümin müslümanlar gider işine 
Bir ben mi düşmüşüm can telaşına 
Açılın kapılar şaha gidelim

Yaz seli gibiyim akar çağlarım 
Hançer aldım, ciğerciğim dağlarım 
Garip kaldım, şu arada durur ağlarım 
Açılın kapılar şaha gidelim 

[Ilgın ılgın eser seher yelleri 
Yare selam eylen urum erleri 
Bize peyik geldi, şah bülbülleri 
Açılın kapılar şaha gidelim] 

[Pir Sultan'ım eydür mürvetli şah'ım 
Yaram baş verdi, sızlar ciğergahım 
Arşa direk direk olmuştur ahım 
Açılın kapılar şaha gidelim]


Pir Sultan is not afraid to say Sah. Hizir Pasa gets angry and says ‘You are playing the saz wrong, I am warning you’

Pir Sultan stands brave and true. He sings another deyis:
 
Kul olayım kalem tutan ellere
Katip ahvalimi Şah’a böyle yaz
Şekerler ezerim şirin diline
Katip ahvalimi Şah’a böyle yaz
 
Allah’ı seversen katip böyle yaz
Dün ü gün ola Şah’a eylerim niyaz
Umarım yıkılsın şu kanlı Sivas
Katip ahvalimi Şah’a böyle yaz
 
Sivas illerinde zilim çalınır
Çamlı beller bölük bölük bölünür
Ben dosttan ayrıldım bağrım delinir
Katip ahvalimi Şah’a böyle yaz
 
Münafıkın her dediği oluyor
Gül benzimiz sararuban soluyor
Gidi Mervan şad oluban gülüyor
Katip ahvalimi Şah’a böyle yaz
 
Pir Sultan Abdal’ım hey Hızır Paşa
Gör ki neler gelir sağ olan başa
Hasret koydu bizi kavim kardaşa
Katip ahvalimi Şah’a böyle yaz.”
 
Pir Sultan continues to say Sah. Hizir Pasa’s advisers say to the Pasa that a Kizilbas is not listening to him and that he is being insulted.

Pir Sultan continues to sing a third deyis:
 
“Karşıdan görünen en güzel yayla
Bir dem süremedim giderim böyle
Ala gözlü Pir’im sen himmet eyle
Ben de bu yayladan Şah’a giderim
 
Eğer göğerüben bostan olursam
Şu halkın diline destan olursam
Kara toprak senden üstün olursam
Ben de bu yayladan Şah’a giderim
 
Dost elinden dolu içtim deliyim
Üstü kan köpüklü meşe seliyim
Ben bir yol oğluyum yol sefiliyim
Ben de bu yayladan Şah’a giderim
 
Alınmış abdestim aldırırlarsa
Kılınmış namazım kıldırırlarsa
Siz de Şah diyeni öldürürlerse
Ben de bu yayladan Şah’a giderim
 
Abdal’ım dünya durulmaz
Gitti giden ömür geri dönülmez
Gözlerim de Şah yolundan ayrılmaz
Ben de bu yayladan Şah’a giderim.”
 
Hizir Pasa is now out of control and demands his gaurds to put Pir Sultan in the torture chamber. Hizir says to the Pir that he will be hanged tommorow.

Pir Sultan asks his supporters and friends not feel upset and not to mourn. He plays the following deyis:
 
“Bize de Banaz’da Pir Sultan derler
Bizi kem kişi de bellemesinler
Paşa kıdemine tembih eylesin
Kolum çekip elim bağlamasınlar
 
Hüseyn Gazi binse gelse atına
Dayanılmaz çarh-ı felek zatına
Benden selam olsun ev külfetine
Çıkıp ele karşı ağlamasınlar
 
Ala gözlüm zülfün kelep eylesin
Döksün zülfün kelep eylesin
Ali Baba Hak’tan dilek dilesin
Bizi dar bidinde eğlemesinler
 
Eğer Ali Baba sözü uyarsa
Ferman büyük yerden beyler kıyarsa
Ala gözlü yavrularım duyarsa
Al’ın çözüp kara bağlamasınlar
 
Surrum işlemedi kaddim büküldü
Beyaz vücudumun bendi çözüldü
Önüm sıra Kırklar Şah’a çekildi
Daha beyler bizi dillemesinler
 
Pir Sultan Abdal’ım coşkun akarım
Akar akar dost yoluna bakarım
Pirim aldım seyrangaha çıkarım
Yıldızdağı seni yaylamasınlar.”
 
Hizir Pasha tells everyone to stone Pir Sultan, he says ‘those that do not throw stones at him will be punished by death’

everyone starts to stone Pir Sultan everyone bu one person. Pir Sultan’s Musahhip, Ali Baba. Ali Baba refuses to throw a stone, instead he throws Pir sultan a rose.

Pir Sultan see’s Ali Baba’s rose and becomes greatly saddened by it. He says :

Look at what this bloody tyrant has done
I am oppressed like a bulbul
Stones are falling on my heade like rain
But my only friends’ rose hurts me
My friends and foes have shown themselves in my bad day
If i had 10 problems they have shown themselves now
Death’s order is on my neck
If they need to, they can hang me or hit me
I am Pir Sultan, my life is hanging from the sky
Hak does not have an order, my death has no blessing
The stones did not hurt me
My friends rose hurt the most
 
When the crowds leave, Ali Baba stands next to Pir Sultans body and cries. Ali Baba hugs the Pir one last time.

Pir Sultan was hanged by the Ottoman Lord Hizir Pasa because he stood against injustice and refused to say he did not love the Sah. Pir Sultans family, Friends and supporters were not able to take his body to bury him in his village because of the pressure they felt from the Ottoman government. Hizir Pasa did not even allow the Alevi leader to have a honourable funeral.

To this day, Pir Sultans followers and supporters do not know where he is buried. Some say he was buried in Erdebil in iraq while some say he is buried in the town of Sivas, where he was hanged.
Every great person does not just write about greatness, they act and experience greatness. Pir Sultan was not just a poet or musician, his life was an example of courage, standing with the oppressed and standing against tyranny. His acts created equality and justice. And he never acted violently, we can truly say, Pir Sultan was a perfect example of a human being with morals, maturity and greatness (Kamil-Insan).

Pir Sultan did not write poetry for fame or wealth. His poems and music represented a cause. Every poem he ever wrote described the pain and suffering he endured against oppression. Every poem was one of love for his path and people. Every poem described the cause of our path against oppression. Which is why even today, after hundreds of years after Pir sultan’s life we still say ‘Pir Sultans cause is a great one, it is our cause’.
 
 
Come, do not desert us, my beauty
 
We are the nightingale, no stranger we
 
We are brothers in dervish ecstasy
 
We are the way within the liturgy
 
Let us converse on the states of joy
 
Let us talk ‘til tongues are tired
 
We will travel lands far and wide
 
We are the rose freshly opened
 
I am Pir Sultan, for what do you cry?
 
You shed tears of blood from your eye
 
What you expect from us, is it fire?
 
We are ashes of embers blown and burned
 
Gel güzelim kaçma bizden
 
Yad değiliz bülbülüz biz
 
Biz hâl ehli kardaşlarız
 
Erkân içinde yoluz biz
 
Söyleşelim hâlden hâle
 
Dilleşelim dilden dile
 
Biz gezeriz elden ele
 
Taze açılmış gülüz biz
 
Pir Sultan’ım ne ağlarsın
 
Gözünden kan yaş çağlarsın
 
Sen bizden ateş m’umarsın
 
Yanmış üfrülmüş külüz biz
Pir Sultan Abdal  
 
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