Possessed II – Karagöz and Hacivat Bey

Me an’ J dun snuk away yesterday! We also did something unusual for us, and drove turn about with barely a stop, using motorways and major roads until we landed up in Bursa! With no town map worthy of the name and a belediye that does not believe in local signposts we navigated by the seat of our, by now, very sticky pants and and a wet finger out of the car window to find our romantic little pansiyon part way up Ulu Dağ – and here we are!

Ulu Dağ – the pansiyon is a little way back down the road

We’d booked on the basis of fantastic views; out of town; rave reviews – we had to wait for the fantastic views as the clouds had closed in and the rains were falling. To rave reviews I’d add ‘love the bridal suite’! Haven’t seen so much gold lamé since Liberace last performed for his mother!

Anyway, that was yesterday and today has been today! With the cloud base a few hundred feet below us we decided that it was an ‘explore the town’ day rather than a ‘go flower and bug hunting up the mountain’ day. Bursa is full of good places to see and things to do – if, like us, you haven’t been here, you really need to put that right. One suggestion; after you get here, dump the car and use the dirt-cheap dolmuş, taxis and shared taxis – the roads are murder!

Now, I could go on about Ulu Camii or the huge covered bazaar or any of the other fabulous buildings; but I’m not going to because something far more interesting happened – J and I met up with the two most famous personages ever to come out of Bursa (including Osman Ghazi and Orhan Ghazi), namely, Karagöz and Hadivat Bey! Seriously!

I know some of you thought that they were over in the US flitting about in the phantasmagorical world that exists inside the head of a certain professor of our acquaintance – true, and not true! These guys can, after all, avail themselves of magical powers and be in several places at the same time. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

J and I went to the wonderful House of Karagöz and Hadivat to become better acquainted with these characters and their friends and co-conspirators. I cannot speak for J, but the effect on me of entering their world was . . was . . rejuvenating! Somehow, indiscernably  my childhood returned and I found myself immersed in the world of shadows and puppets.

Possessed! Who is pulling the strings?

At some point I found that (I think it was) Karagöz’s hat had materialised in my hand – followed by a leg, an arm, a head, another leg! The rest of Karagöz was followed by Hacivat Bey and before I knew it they had possessed me; insinuated themselves into my psyche! Now they own me – they have concealed themselves between the pages of my copy of ‘The Bulbous Plants of Turkey and Iran’ in the back of the car. They say that they want to see the Archers of Okçular.

Karagöz and Hacivat Bey from Alan Fenn on Vimeo.

Enjoy a little glimpse into the amazing world of Karagöz and Hadivat Bey – shadows? I think not!


Friends of Karagöz and Hacivat Bey

Russian Friend

Italian Friend

Alan Fenn, Yiğitali Köyü, Ulu Dağ Yolu, Bursa



6 thoughts on “Possessed II – Karagöz and Hacivat Bey

  1. Bursa was the first place we travelled to in Turkey – outside of Fethiye. We loved it, despite the fact it was January and ridiculously cold. We never saw the puppets though. A return visit is long overdue so we’ll have to hunt them down when we do go.

  2. We’ve had a great few days here; in town and up in the mountains flower hunting in the clouds! The shadow puppets are a must next time you are in the area.

    1. . . you maybe right there Jack! Truth be told, I really was taken by the whole place and the puppets – now you need to stay tuned for the follow up!

  3. . . sorry about the delay Freddie, just fished you out of the bin!! Bursa is the birthplace of these puppets – what’s nice is that the art-form is enjoying a revival.

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