The great minstrel Aşık Veysel’s early poems contain cranes, partridges, orange neck birds, flowers. But he doesn’t mention about storks. He was staying in the library’s special guest room between 1943-1944 when he was teaching music in Çifteler Village Institute.
The responsiblity of the room that Aşık Veysel and his assistant İbrahim Efendi were staying and taking care of them was given to the head teacher M. Rauf İNAN, other administrators and me as I was the librarian. Every time I meet Aşık Veysel and his assistant as well as having mutual converstaion on various topics, I was delighted to print the poems he had structured in his mind.
The end of April 1944 was cold, snowy, rainy and stormy. At the command of our head teacher Rauf İNAN, all the students brought storks to our cow barns that they were cold and wet on the edges of Seydi River in Hamidiye Village. I also participated in the process of collecting storks from beginning to end. We carried a stork in to the barn that was sick and unable to walk, with a friend along with the stork flock. We took care of the storks for a week until the cold was over. We watched them inside the bar almost everyday.
Aşık Veysel was influenced very much by storks caring. A few days after the storks, he called me to the library and said:
“My son I have never met with a stork in my life. I have imagination almost for every type of bird but not stork. Please take me to the cow barn where the storks are looked after. Grab one and put on my lap that, helps me to describe it in my mind.”
Bu merak ve isteğe ben de sevindim. Öğlen yemek arasında Aşık Veysel’in koluna girip leyleklerin barındığı ahıra geldik. Gözleri hiç görmeyen Aşık Veysel hiç tanımadığı leyleklere yakın olmanın heyacanını yaşıyor ve bunu çok belli ediyordu.
His curiosity and request made me very happy. In lunch break, I got in to Aşık Veysel’s arm and walked to the barn. He was significantly happy to be near the storks.
He sat on a chair. The storks were dry, well-fed and looked happy. I picked the most attractive stork of the flock and put onto Veysel’s lap. Despiste he was insighted he felt the weight of the stork and seemed feel strange at the beginning. He touched the stork with hesitation and started to stroke. He was like talking to it. He grabbed the stork’s neck and he extended his palm to the stork’s beak like he was holding his “saz”. While he was measuring the stork’s neck and beak, he said:
“Ule!… ule!… ule!… how long its’ neck and beak?” “It’s a good one that I thought it is going to try to run away. Is this catching frogs, grasshoppers, cubs, water bugs with this long beak from lakes, swampes and meadows?”
He searched for stork’s legs while he was still sitting on the chair. He bended for touching it’s feet but he couldn’t reach them.
He said with a sense of humour
”Uleh uleh uleh, Hasan where is the end of this animal’s legs. Do I need to stand up to be able to reach it?”
The collegues who were responsible of the stork’s care talked with laughing:
“Uncle Aşık, your arms are short and it’s legs are long. You cannot touch it’s legs while you were sitting on the chair.”
I took the stork, for Aşık Veysel not to fall while he was searching the animal’s legs.
“Aşık Veysel Hodja, now you can touch the feet while it was on my lap” then he could eventually reach the feet.
Whie he was saying ”Breh! Breh! Breh! How long feet it has!.”he was also examining stork’s feet and nails by touching attentively.
“It is amazing how the got makes these animals fly with these long legs, beaks, heavy bodies. How do these storks live in our country in the spring and summer, how do they fly to the end of the other part of the world when the wetaher gets cold. Let me kiss them then they can fly with our nice and warm kisses to the countries they go.”
After he stroked the stork’s head, body and wings, he put it back. Then he turned to us with happy, experienced and adviser fathery tone:
“You made me so happy, you have placed this beautiful creature into my mind that I have never known before. Beyond everything, you prevented them from dying. You were saying; learning is seeing, touching, holding, hearing and thinking in your lessons. So I also learnt about storks that I have never known about them by the same method. In a same, I wiil keep the stork in my mind. From now on, in my poems, my words, in the strings of my reed and in my voice, you and the storks will be. Thanks to you.”
we waved to the storks in the barn and returned to the school library…
10.07.2005/ Hasan AYHANER/ Retired Teacher / Eskişehir
MY NOTES ABOUT AŞIK VEYSEL
Aşık VEYSEL who says “I see with my heart, not with my eyes”, has been one of the strongest unforgettable voices with the purity in his voice and notes, his strong words and great soul.
Aşık Veysel was the brightest light of the tradition of folk poetry. We had the pleasure of spending time with him even in a short time of period who is the best poet of our century.
In 1952 the great names of Turkish Literature, his friends and fans organized a jubilee for our folk poet Aşık VEYSEL. It was gathered to be taught those who don’t know his value and great personality and those who know and appreciate him. We commemorate him with proud and happiness.
In 1965 a special act was issued for Aşık Veysel by Turkish Parlament. He was awarded “Homeland Service Salary” and a medal for his contribution to Turkish Language and National Unity.
On Wednesday the 21st of March 1973, at dawn, great minstrel Veysel arrived to the end of long and narrow road at his 79.
His voice, as in “I am on a long and narrow road” song at the end of the his life road, he said “my friends remeber me” and passed away on the Wednesday 21st March 1973.
On 28th March 1973, a week after his death, the students, teachers, administrators and parents of Eskişehir, Süleyman Çakır Teachers Girls School and Eskişehir Education Institute organized a memorial day at school hall. After meaningfull speeches, our teachers read poems of Aşık Veysel then school choir sang folk songs of Aşık Veysel.
From that day onwards, we have been proud of commemorating him.
It cannot be cited, copied or published without permission.
“Aşık Veysel and Storks” / Hasan Ayhaner