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ÂŞIK ALİ İZZET (Özkan)

Minstrel (b. 1902, Höyük village / Şarkışla / Sivas - d. 10 October 1981). He did not receive any formal education. His real name was Ali Özkan. He was brought up with lessons given by Aşık Sabri from Sivas. He traveled across Anatolia’s various villages. He participated in the defense of Gaziantep in Doğan Bey’s militia. He lived in İstanbul and Ankara for some time. In 1924, he was arrested because he traveled across the Alawi villages and attended ceremonies. The same year he entered the Hadji Bektash Order and received the name İzzetî.

He earned his living on his travels to villages from the age of twenty two. He met the leaders of the Republican People’s Party in Ankara when he was thirty-eight years old. He gained fame in the literary world when his poems were published in the review Ülkü, and among the public with his recordings on which he sang famous songs such as Mecnunum Leylamı Gördüm (I am Mecnun, I Saw my Leyla), Şu Sazıma Düzen Ver (Tune my Guitar) and Mühür Gözlüm (Black-eyed Lover). His poems were deeply influenced by Âşık Veysel.

WORKS:

Türk’ün Sazından (From the Turkish Traditional Guitar, 1953), Teller de Muradın Alsın (The Strings Grant Your Wish, 1958), Mühür Gözlüm (Black-eyed Lover, 1969).

All his poems were collected by Prof. İlhan Başgöz in a volume with the title Âşık Ali İzzet Özkan (Âşık Ali İzzet Özkan, 1979).