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Traditional Turkish Theatre

Discover Turkey, home of traditional theatre


Turkey's Traditional Theatre

The origin of Turkish theatre dates back hundreds of years. Traditional Turkish Theatre, a term referring to shows that were performed during the Ottoman Empire.

Traditional Turkish Theatre

Traditional Turkish Theatre is a term referring to shows that were performed during the Ottoman Empire, includes Halk Tiyatrosu and Koy Sehirlik Oyunlari.

Koy Seyirlik Oyunlari are based on the ceremonies of the civilizations in Asia Minor as well as on Shaman ceremonies inherited from Turkish ancestors.

Halk Tiyatrosu flourished in urban areas, and this type of theatre comprises Karagoz and Hacivat (shadow puppet theatre), Kukla (puppet theatre), Meddah (storytelling) and Ortaoyunu (street theatre).

Improvisation Theatre

The most important aspect of these types of theatre is that they are based on improvisation, and not on a written text. The main element of traditional Turkish theatre is comedy. The plays were not organized to be performed regularly, but were usually seen as part of traditional ceremonies or social gatherings.

Folk Theatres

Karagoz and Hacivat: Traditional show theatre, where the shadow puppets of human and animal figures, cut out of leather and colored, are thrown onto a white curtain using a light source behind it.

Meddah: A kind of one act play where the narrator also imitates the various characters in the play.

Orta Oyunu: In style and theme resembles Karagoz and Hacivat, but is performed by real actors.

Village Plays: Plays are put on in accordance with rural traditions on special days, weddings and holidays.

Traditional Theatre in Turkey

Orta Oyunu, Folk Theatre, Bursa