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Turkish Poetry and Literature

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Osman Hamdi Bey: The Turtle Trainer (painting)
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 14 Oct 2007 Sun 03:25 am

The "Turtle Trainer" is one of Osman Hamdi Bey's most original and creative works. It subtly portrays this basic social message: that change is difficult, requiring much patience, in fact the patience of a sufi dervish.

The five turtles in this portrait symbolize a stubborn, resistant and slow changing society. Some even believe that they represent the five most difficult associates of Osman Hamdi, giving him heartburn. The turtle trainer, dressed in a red dervish robe and a turban, holding a ney (sufi flute) is Osman Hamdi, representing a patient intellectual that is coaching change. A change he hopes to teach primarily by blowing his ney and occasionally by using it to prod or reprimand the animals. Unfortunately, the turtles have no ears to hear the ney and with a thick protective shell they are also not bothered by his prodding. His efforts are futile. Osman Hamdi Bey's calls for westernization are met by deaf ears and much resistance by the establishment and the conservative segments. By Emin Pamucak

2.       Müjde
 14 Oct 2007 Sun 11:36 am

I think he was the most talented paiter of his era.

3.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 14 Oct 2007 Sun 08:21 pm

Quite often you notice his Turtle painting displayed in different stores and restaurants in Turkey.

Also love this theme:

Tavla playing Zeybek

4.       MarioninTurkey
6124 posts
 18 Oct 2007 Thu 08:15 am

If you get a chance you can see the painting on display at the PERA MUSEUM between Taksim and Tunel in Istanbul.

It is well worth seeing, the reproductions you see everywhere do not do it justice. The amazing light from the window in the original is fab!

I also love his Ab-ı Hayat Çeşmesi (water of life fountain)

The Pera Museum has a lot of lovely Ottoman pictures on display, including a couple of beautiful pictures of people picknicking. My personal favourite is a lady in a boat at Küçüksu - I bought the jigsaw from the museum, so ow I have the picture in my home.

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