Asiklik, Minstrelsy Tradition

Discover Turkey and preserve minstrelsy tradition

Turkish Minstrelsy Tradition

Asiklik (Minstrelsy), which is an important part of cultural entity in Turkey, is a tradition shaped by experiences of centuries. The structure of Asiklik (Minstrelsy) Tradition is based on the customs including a distinctive performance.

Asiklik (Minstrelsy) Tradition

Turkish Minstrelsy Tradition is performed by wandering poet singers known as Asik (minstrel). Minstrels perform by competing and by singing improvised poetry to one another.

The Minstrelsy Tradition is not only the cultural memory of Anatolia, but it is also an important expression of its cultural diversity and richness. The most important characteristic of the minstrelsy tradition with its unique performance and convention is its appeal to broad segments of society because it reflects the lifestyles, worldviews, ethics and aesthetic values of the age.

Asik (Minstrel)

Dressed in traditional clothes and plucking a stringed instrument, the Asik (minstrel) is a common performer at weddings, in coffeehouses and during public festivals.

Because of Asiks (minstrels) travel between communities, they help to spread cultural values and ideas and to facilitate a robust social dialogue, in part through topical poetry and social and political satire.

At weddings in particular, minstrels are regarded as instructors and guides whose tradition draws on and enriches Turkish literary culture and the daily lives of communities throughout the country.

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Asiklik (Minstrelsy) Tradition was added to UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

UNESCO Identity Card:

  • Official Name: Asiklik (Minstrelsy) Tradition
  • Criteria: Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
  • Date of Inscription: 2009
Turkish Minstrelsy Tradition
Asiklik (Minstrelsy) Tradition