Blog Posts - Karagöz



Şinasi Çelikkol, Master of Puppets

Tucked away in his Karagöz Antiques souvenir shop in Bursa’s Eski Aynalı Çarşı, Mr. Şinasi Çelikkol labors away at his two loves: purveying Turkish antiques and promoting traditional Ottoman shadow puppetry. Şinasi Bey’s antique shop is a...
by The Best of Bursa on Jun 1, 2016

The Karagöz puppets review “Mustang”

The Karagöz puppets recently high-tailed it to the cinema to check out “Mustang,” a new film by Turkish-French writer Denis Gamze Ergüven.  Set in Kastamonu province in Turkey, the film follows the lives of a set of beautiful and f...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 18, 2016

Learning Türkçe: Rowing in vain?

 Sometimes you try and try but you can’t get what you want because you are beating a dead horse and your endeavour is futile. In Turkish, the same concept is expressed with a different metaphor: “Boşa kürek çekmek.”  It literal...
by Slowly by slowly on Jul 9, 2015

Karagöz knits a sock on the head of the Turkish military

Can you knit a sock on your head? These days, Karagöz sits with me as a make my way through the English-language Turkish press.  I like to keep up to speed on Turkish goings-on as much as I can so that … Continue reading →...
by Slowly by slowly on Jul 4, 2015

The Karagöz puppets boycott “Inside Out”

Pixar’s new film, “Inside Out” is all the rage these days. “Inside Out,” while ostensibly a story about a little girl experiencing the trials and travails of a move across country, is really a story about how the personi...
by Slowly by slowly on Jul 4, 2015

Enjoying a cuppa at the Çinaraltı cafe on Bozcaada

Nothing is more evocative of Turkey for me than the sound of tiny spoons clinking into glasses at a Çay bahçesi (i.e. tea garden or cafe). The puppets sigh with hiraeth at this thought.  They do pine for home now that … Continue reading ...
by Slowly by slowly on Jun 15, 2015

Karadeniz’de gemileri batmak: A Turkish idiom for deep sadness

Today is my Dad’s birthday – he has been gone for three years – but I still  miss him.  Recently, I learned of a Turkish idiom that is used to express deep sadness.  Really, the Turks have an idiom for … Continue reading &#...
by Slowly by slowly on Jun 8, 2015

Başınız sağolsun: A Turkish idiom in honor of the Soma disaster’s anniversary

Last year was witness to the worst mining disaster in Turkish history…as we drove through the town of Soma last June, the memorial to the miners stood tall. Black banners and flags flew off of a number of the terraces … Continue reading &...
by Slowly by slowly on May 12, 2015

Twitter banned briefly, again: Her kuşun eti yenmez

Turks are truly mad for Twitter. According to the New Yorker’s review of data from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “fourteen per cent of Turkey’s eighty million people use Twitter—a relatively high figure for a country where only...
by Slowly by slowly on Apr 7, 2015

Bread, salt and love: Happy Valentine’s Day from the Karagöz puppets (and Nazim Hikmet)

Happy Valentine’s Day to all – the Karagöz puppets’ gift to you today is the sharing of a Nazim Hikmet poem which likens love to dipping bread into salt…relayed here in English and then in Turkish… I love you like ̷...
by Slowly by slowly on Feb 13, 2015

Izmir köfte on a cold winter’s day

Snow crazy! That’s what those puppets are.  They are afraid to venture out into the 60+ inches of snow we have seen in the past month.  For little puppets made of camel hide colored with vegetable dyes, I suppose the … Continue reading...
by Slowly by slowly on Feb 11, 2015

Karagöz irons on my head: Online teaching with the puppets breathing down my neck

These days, the Karagöz puppets have been spending a lot of time in the classroom with me – more time than ever given that I am teaching an online class for the first time. The puppets sit on the top … Continue reading →...
by Slowly by slowly on Feb 9, 2015

The puppets celebrate a wedding on the Georgian border

The Karagöz puppets are all a-twitter about the upcoming Valentine’s day celebration.  Between valentine-making parties and the preparation of sweets, you can imagine that they haven’t been thinking much about blogging. So this morning,...
by Slowly by slowly on Feb 7, 2015

The Karagöz puppets have a psychotic experience in Bursa

Recently, I went to visit the puppets while they were on sabbatical in Turkey. We met up in Istanbul and took in some sightseeing in Safranbolu before heading to their point of origin – Bursa. As you may know, Karagöz … Continue reading...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 29, 2015

The will o’ the wisp and the Ottoman seal make a comeback in Turkey

The puppets are all snowed in thanks to Blizzard Juno…and in order to stave off cabin fever, Karagöz led the charge to find some good reading in our vintage book collection.  Hacivad Bey, our resident history buff, came across my … Cont...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 27, 2015

To eleven years together: “Love is grabbing hold to the great Lion’s mane”

“Love is grabbing hold to the great Lion’s mane” or so go the words from the poet Hafiz. I’ve been clinging to that mane – whipping in the wind it often seems – for eleven years now. Actually, it has been … Cont...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 24, 2015

A fındık (hazelnut) fiesta in Güneşliköyü

Recently, the puppets joined me on a trip with the Archers of Okçular. Clinging onto the backseat, the puppets didn’t complain as we wound our way through the mountains of the northeastern Black Sea region near the Georgian border. M’La...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 19, 2015

Dreaming of deniz börülcesi

Lately, the puppets have been complaining about the polar vortex that has descended upon us. The little chorus of dancing ladies have had to cover up their skimpy clothes with fat parkas, and they are none too happy at the … Continue reading &#...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 14, 2015

An unexpected interfaith moment in the Muratlı mosque

Muratlı Village is hardly the place you would expect to find cosmopolitan and open armed views about the intermingling of religions and global peace. And we could use a bit of an interfaith moment these days, what with the pain … Continue read...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 10, 2015

“Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo:” The Karagöz Puppets are Vintage Satirists

In the haze of the morning, I awoke to the chants of a French protest group, or so I thought.  Opening one eye, I noted the entire troupe of Karagöz puppets was lined up on my bureau, waving their fists … Continue reading →...
by Slowly by slowly on Jan 9, 2015


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