Cenge Giderken by Mehmet Emin Yurdakul
November 15, 2007
The WarpathI am a Turk, my faith, my kin are awesome My heart and my essence are filled with fire A true man is the slave of his fatherland An offspring of the Turks rests not at home, so I shall go.
These lands are the abode of my ancestors My house, my village are all part of this home Behold the fatherland! Lo the embracement of God! Father, your home finds none of its children, I too shall go.
I will not have the book of the Creator abrogated I will not have Osman’s flag removed I will not have my enemy charge my fatherland The House of the Lord can not be laid to ruins, I shall go.
The Lord is my witness I shall keep my vow The love of my people is in my essence Naught but the fatherland have I set my sight on The enemy will not take the beloved’s bed, so I shall go.
With a white shirt shall I wipe my tears With a black stone shall I sharpen my knife For my fatherland, I wish exaltion None shall remain in this world, I too shall go.
Cenge GiderkenBen bir Türk’üm dinim, cinsim uludur Sinem, özüm ateş ile doludur İnsan olan vatanının kuludur Türk evlâdı evde durmaz, giderim.
Bu topraklar ecdâdımın ocağı Evim köyüm hep bu yurdun bucağı İşte vatan! İşte Tanrı kucağı! Ata yurdun evlât bulmaz, giderim.
Yaradanın kitabını kaldırtmam Osmancığın bayrağını aldırtmam Düşmanımı vatanıma saldırtmam Tanrı evi viran olmaz giderim.
Tanrım şâhid duracağım sözümde Milletimin sevgileri özümde Vatanımdan başka şey yok gözümde Yâr yatağın düşman almaz, giderim. Ak gömlekle gözyaşımı silerim Kara taşla bıçağımı bilerim Vatanımçün yücelikler dilerim Bu dünyada kimse kalmaz, giderim
- Yurdakul (1869 – 1944),belonged to that batch of poets for whom nationalism was everything. They witnessed the decline of the Ottoman empire and the rising nationalism in former Ottoman territories. They reacted by forging a Turkish nationalism, led by writers like Ziya Gökalp, Halide Edip Adıvar and Ömer Seyfettin. They chose to write in “simple” Turkish, instead of Ottoman Turkish that was riddled with Arabic and Persian.
- This poem was first published in the influential literary magazine Servet-i Fünun in 1897. This magazine was at the very core of the new literary movement (Edebiyat-ı Cedid) and published works of great poets like Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan, Tevfik Fikret. It also influenced people like Yahya Kemal Beyatlı. Paradoxally, as opposed to Yurdakul’s plain Turkish, these writers used a poetic language that was very difficult to understand for common people.
- When Yurdakul proclaims that he “shall go”, he means that he will go out and fight a war.
- Ulu, an old Turkic word, means big or large. However, we are talking about an order of magnitude which is usually awe-inspiring. This is why ulu, in Turkish, will only be used in relation to God or to things “as big as mountains”. Hence the translation as awesome.
- It is very strange to see how Yurdakul prefers to use the old Turkic word Tanrı over the (what I assume was) prevalent Allah, a word of Semitic origin. Both words mean technically the same thing: God. With Yaradan (Creator) he again casts aside the Arabic word Allah (or even Halik or Rabb for that matter) and uses a less common Turkic word. Keep in mind, that Yurdakul does not have any problems with using other words that are Arabic in origin: even the beloved Vatan (Fatherland) is an Arabic word. Let us not forget that this poet belongs to the same group of people that wanted to have the Koran, the adhan (call to prayer) and the religious sermons in the mosques in Turkish in the stead of Arabic.