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A Turkish shadow play: Karagöz and Hacivat


Karagöz and Hacivat is a Turkish shadow play and its name is from one of its main characters Karagöz. According to Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi the play was first performed at the Ottoman palaces in the late 14th century. Between 17th and 19th century it was performed for the public and in private houses during Ramadan and at feast festivals, coffee houses and circumcisions.

According to a rumor, Karagöz and Hacivat were working as construction workers in a mosque in Bursa. Their satiric jokes made the sultan very angry and anxious about whether Karagoz and Hacivat could encourage rebellion in others. As a result, they were executed.

Moving the design on curtain, voicing them, dialects or imitations are all made by the artist so talent of the artist take an important place in the play. The subjects of Karagöz plays are funny elements with double meanings, exaggerations, verbal plays, and imitating accents. There is always satire and irony.

(e.g. https://youtu.be/IghtrwzsXZM )


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