If Nasreddin Hodja was a real person, he lived in 13th Century Turkey in and around Akşehir in the Konya area. In his time he was an imam (a religious leader), a judge and a professor in a medrese (Islamic college). But whether he was real or not Nasreddin Hodja embodied the folk wisdom of his time and has continued to do so over the centuries. The themes of the Nasreddin Hodja stories are universal and timeless covering social and interpersonal relationships and raising questions about relationships between people, animals and the natural world.
The stories are still told as far away as Siberia and North Africa and have been translated into many languages. New stories emerge, and old ones are adapted, to fulfil the needs of each new generation.
So popular, in every sense, are these stories, that many of the "punch lines" have become epigrams. Here are just a few examples:
The annual Nasreddin Hodja festival is held in Akşehir, the site of his tomb, every year between July 5th and 10th. Further information can be obtained from:
The Nasreddin Hoca and Tourism Association Tel. 90 332 813 1438 Fax 90 332 813 3603
Source: Nasreddin Hodja Alpay Kabacalı illustrated by Fatih M. Durmuş Net Turistik Yayınlar A.Ş.