A Thirsty Man Near the River by Rumi

Silent River

Silent River

Once there was a huge wall near a silent river that flew rapidly through the valleys. Then a thirsty man appeared behind the wall. But the wall was so huge that he could have neither managed to climb the wall nor torn it down. Poor man was fluttering like a fish that was already out of the water. He should have reached the water to quench his thirst but that was impossible because of the wall.

Suddenly he broke apart a piece of stone from the wall and threw it to the river over the huge wall. The stone piece splashed the water and made a sound that can be heard from anywhere. The river was so silent that when he heard the water splash, it was more than an ordinary sound. It sounds like a song or like a poem to man. Then the man broke apart more pieces from the wall and started to throw them through the river to listen this lovely song.

Days later, while the man kept throwing stone pieces through the river, suddenly river started to talk and said Oh poor man, why do you throw stones to me although you know that you can not reach my water?

Then the man said to the river Oh generous river, i know that i can not reach you but this give me hope if i throw some stones to your water. Because with every stone i broke apart, i know that the wall is getting lower. And more importantly, your sound of water that spreading all over the nature gives live to human beings. Nature comes alive and celebrates the spring after hearing your sound of water. Now i am asking to you, why do not i throw more stones ?

Short Story by Rumi


Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) was neither an Ottoman intellectual nor an Ottoman generation but his studies grew up and lived in the whole empire from the beginning to the end. The Empire wasn’t even established when he died in 1273 but some of his followers became well-known people in administration and government in Ottoman Empire.

The poems from his masterpiece: ‘Mesnevi’ are still considered as one of the most effective tools in personal growth and mental healing all around the world. Rumi tells stories that contain so deepest meanings in ‘Mesnevi’ poems that anyone who listens to these poems can get as much as they can understand while they are charming with its emotional musical by reed-flute. His ceremony is famous with whirling dervishes.

Here i’d like to publish some of his stories and the story above was originally translated from turkish by me.

Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Characters Inspired by Ottoman Pirates: Barbossa, Hook

Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha

Pirates of the Caribbean, was award winning movie by Disney pictures, made its mark into the film history by either its atmosphere and characters. And a character  Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) appears as one of the fictional characters in the movie and it exactly matches “the pirate image” on our minds.

Have you ever wondered where that usual pirate image come from?

Answer is mostly the mediterranean pirates. In the history, they varied from mediterranean nationalities like Spanish, Venetian, Genoese …etc. But they always wear eyepatches or wooden legs with an implemented hook in their hands.

Considering his name “Barbossa”, one can easily realize that it is a known italian word “Barbarossa” (RedBeard) who belongs to only one person in the history: Admiral Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha.

Geoffrey Rush’s Barbossa Character

His name was originally “Hızır” and born in the 1470s on the island of Midilli (Lesbos) to their Muslim Turkish father, Yakup, and his Christian Greek wife Katerina. He was grown up with his 3 brothers: Oruc, İlyas, İshak. All four brothers became seamen, engaged in marine affairs and international sea trade. The first brother to become involved in seamanship was Oruç, who was joined by his brother Ilyas. Later, obtaining his own ship, Hızır also began his career at sea. The brothers initially worked as sailors, but then turned privateers in the Mediterranean to counteract the privateering of the Knights of St. John of the Island of Rhodes.

The fame of Oruç Reis with his brothers increased when between 1504 and 1510 he transported Muslim Mudejars from Christian Spain to North Africa. His efforts of helping the Muslims of Spain in need and transporting them to safer lands earned him the honorific name Baba Oruç (Father Aruj), which eventually – due the similarity in sound – evolved in Spain, France and Italy into Barbarossa (meaning Redbeard in Italian).

In May 1518, Emperor Charles V arrived at Oran and was received at the port by Sheikh Buhammud and the Spanish governor of the city, Diego de Cordoba, marquess of Comares, who commanded a force of 10,000 Spanish soldiers. Joined by thousands of local Bedouins, the Spaniards marched overland towards Tlemcen. Oruç Reis and Ishak awaited them in the city with 1,500 Turkish and 5,000 Moorish soldiers. They defended Tlemcen for 20 days, but were eventually killed in combat by the forces of Garcia de Tineo. Hızır was wounded by his arm during the battle. After that battle, he replaced his wounded arm with an implemented hook and inherited his brother’s place, his name (Barbarossa) and his mission.

In his developing career, Hızır became the most famous Ottoman Admiral and conquered Algeria. Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha defeats the Holy League of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria at the Battle of Preveza in 1538.

All the historical facts are acquired by his personal sea logs and his masterpiece “Gazavat-ı Hayreddin Pasha”.

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm  Comments (5)  
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Battle of Ankara

The Battle of Ankara fought in 1402, took place northeast of Ankara at the field of Çubuk between the forces of the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I – the Thunderbolt- and the Turko-Mongol forces of Timur -the Lame- (Tamerlane), ruler of the Timurid Empire.

Timur had conquered Georgia and Azerbaijan in 1390, expanding his empire to the borders of the Ottoman Empire. The two powers soon came into direct conflict. On his march to invade Syria in 1398 Timur was met by a deputation of exiled Anatolian emirs, along with ambassadors from Constantinople, Genoa, Venice, and even Charles VI of France, who urged him to attack the Ottoman Empire.[7] Beyazid demanded tribute from one of the Turkish emirates who had pledged loyalty to Timur and threatened to invade. Timur interpreted this action as an insult to himself and in 1400 sacked the Ottoman city of Sebaste (modern Sivas). Beyazid was stung into furious action and when Timur invaded Anatolia from the east, Beyazid summoned his forces and confronted Timur’s forces near Ankara. The conflict, overall, was the culmination of years of insulting letters exchanged between Timur and Beyazid.

In those letters, it said that Beyazid insulted Timur and his soldiers as being tatar, unbelievers and evil. In replies Timur said to Beyazid that they were as muslim as ottomans used to be, but the whole ottoman state had been captured by european non-believers and spies.

When those letters made an annoying impact on Beyazid, he could not have known himself and obviously underestimated the forces of Timur.

It is also said that in the battlefield Beyazid refrain to first attack on Timur’s tired army because he wanted to figth at equal powers. So that the first attack came from Timur and despite the fact that they both has at equal powers, Timur’s forces were almost entirely mounted with a few Indian war elephants.

It’s remarkable that in that battle, some of Turkish soldiers had changed sides and supported Timur’s forces. It’s a strong evident of that Anatolian people has not a sympathy for Ottoman Empire, Beyazid The First, in that battle.

in July 1402 at the end of the Ankara Battle, Ottomans defeated by Timurlane and collapsed for the first time in its history.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 10:07 am  Comments (5)  
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