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ÂŞIK PAŞA

Theologian and poet (b. 1272, Kırşehir - d. 1333). He was a member of a family that migrated from Horasan to Anatolia in the 13th century and was the grandson of Baba İlyas, a theologian who was the Emir of Konya in the late period of the Seljukians. The title Paşa means “the first”. He was brought up with the strong influence of theosophical culture, with lessons from his father Muhlis Paşa. He spoke Armenian, besides Arabic, Persian and Hebrew. He wrote his work Garibname (Book of the Poor) which influenced Süleyman Çelebi, the writer of memorial chants, in order to inform society about tradition through theology. Besides this didactic mesnevi* (rhymed couplet poem) of twelve thousand couplets, he wrote hymns and odes influenced by Yunus Emre, applying syllabic and prosodic meters successfully. He was said to be read avidly by members of the Bayrami tarikat*.

His four mesnevi*s, Fakrnâme (The Book of Poverty), Vasf-ı Hal (Characteristics of the Current Situation), Kimya Risalesi (Booklet of Chemistry) and Hikâye (Story) were published by Agâh Sırrı Levend (1953, 1954). His other poems were published in Türkiyat Mecmuası (volume 5, 1935) by Abdülbaki Gölpınarlı. His hymns and odes, which sum up to sixty-seven, were collected in the book Yunus Emre ve Tasavvuf (Yunus Emre and Theosophy, 1961) by Abdülbaki Gölpınarlı.