3 Classic Love Tales In Turkish Literature With No Happy Ending

Classic Love Tales In Turkish-Ling

Who doesn’t like love stories? Every culture has its own famous love tales, but today, we’ll focus on classic love tales in Turkish literature. Unfortunately, they usually don’t end up with a happy ending, and they are rather tragic, like Leyla and Mecnun. Imagine two characters madly in love, but countless difficulties prevent them from being together. Even after they overcome those hardships, they somehow die together to reunite in the afterlife.

Curious about more tragic love stories? Then keep reading below!

Classic Love Tales In Turkish Literature

Let’s read the three most well-known classic love tales in Turkish:

Leyla and Mecnun-classic love tales in Turkish-Ling

Leyla & Mecnun

This tragic love story is actually based on an Arab legend. Kais and Leyla fell in love with each other while they were still at school. When Leyla’s mother finds out, she doesn’t let her daughter go to school anymore. Even though Kays’s father asks for the girl’s hand in marriage, Leyla’s family refuses him.

Since Kais is not able to see his lover anymore, he hits the road, and this is why people start to call him “Mecnun,” which refers to someone madly in love. He makes friends with wild animals and birds in the desert. In the meantime, Leyla’s family marries her to another man without her consent, but Leyla deceives the man by telling him that a fairy loves her and that if they marry, the fairy will kill both of them, and this false story keeps him away from her. Then, the man dies because of Majnun’s brokenheartedness.

Mecnun has given up all material things related to this world and lives in ecstasy with spiritual love. When he encounters Leyla in the desert, he doesn’t even recognize her. He says that Leyla is within himself; he is united with her in the spiritual world, and he doesn’t have the strength to meet another Leyla.

After a while, Leyla returns and dies of grief. When Mecnun hears about this, he runs to Leyla’s grave and wants to die with her. God grants his wish, and he falls there and surrenders his soul to Leyla’s grave.

Ferhat & Şirin

There are some superhuman components to Şirin and Ferhat’s love story, which is another painful relationship. Ferhat is a young man who lives in the Amasya district of Turkey and is in love with the sultan’s daughter, Şirin.

When he asks for the daughter’s hand in marriage, the sultan refuses to approve the marriage until he has completed a challenging assignment. He states that they can’t get married unless Ferhat brings the water from behind the mountains to the town. But Ferhat, a powerful and attractive man, carves out a hole in the mountains and constructs a canal to transport the water.

Then, Şirin learns that Ferhat has passed away. So, she ends her own life because she can’t handle the sadness.

Kerem & Aslı

Kerem and Aslı-classic love tales in Turkish-Ling

Kerem is a young Turk who falls in love with an Armenian girl named Aslı. When Aslı is kidnapped from him, he starts traveling with his friend Sofu around the world to find her, playing saz and singing folk songs.

At the end of his challenging adventure, Kerem reunites with Aslı in Aleppo. Just as he is about to marry her, he falls victim to a spell. He ignites with a spell, burns, and turns into ashes. Ignited by the spark of this ash from her hair, Aslı also burns down, suffering the same fate, and they reunite only in heaven.

How Do You Say “Love Tale” In Turkish?

The Turkish translation of “love tale” is aşk hikayesi. Here is an example sentence in English and Turkish, using this word: “My favorite love tale is Leyla and Mecnun (En seviğim aşk hikayesi Leyla ile Mecnun.)”

Here are some Turkish words that you encounter. I’m Turkish, and I tell love tales! If you want to learn more Turkish vocabulary and phrases about love, check out our related blog post!

Novel Roman
LoverAşık, sevgili
Friend Arkadaş, dost
VillainKötü adam
HeartbreakAşk acısı
LongingÖzlem, hasret
To marryEvlenmek
To flirtFlört etmek
To hugSarılmak
To kissÖpmek, öpüşmek
Loyal Sadık

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Turkish word for love?

The Turkish word for “love” is aşk. Sevgi also means love in English. The difference between the two is that the word aşk refers to a deeper and more passionate kind of love.

2. How do you say romantic in Turkish?

“Romantic” means romantik in Turkish, which is very similar.

3. What is the Turkish word for heart?

The Turkish word for heart is kalp. Also, gönül or yürek are often used instead of kalp in Turkish literature, especially poetry, as they convey more feeling.

Final Words

As you have read, most classic love tales in Turkish don’t have a happy ending. These short stories feature similar themes, such as impossible love, broken hearts, hardships, different social statuses, and death. I don’t know if all classic love tales in world literature are like this, but what I do know is that we need more happy endings!

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