Want to learn more about the Turkish legend of derivation? Read on for facts and info on the ancient legend about the Grey Wolf and the emperor’s daughter…
Turkish folklore has a great number of major legends as part of its collection. The Turkish legend of derivation is considered to be the first major legend to have originated from Turkey and is also one of the most famous amongst the entire collection. The legend narrates the great rise of the Turkish Empire to its zenith, as it became the global leader of the world. It goes further on to relate the causes that led to its decadence.
The Turkish legend of derivation had a profound impact on the belief system of the Turks. With this legend in place they attributed the fall of the great Turkish Empire through a divine source. This made it easy for them to come to terms with the great loss that they had experienced. It is believed that this epic story dates back to the eighth century and was orally narrated for about seven centuries until it was finally written down in the 15th century.
The legend is focused on the character of the greatest Turkish emperor who had two daughters that were renowned for their beauty. Because of their beautiful appearance it was believed that only humans with supernatural powers could take the emperor’s daughters in wedlock. They started to assume that these women were not created for the purpose of getting married to human beings. As their father, the emperor was very concerned with their safety and made all possible preparations to ensure his daughters were kept away from the masses. He ordered the construction of a massive tower in a faraway place that had not been inhabited by any human beings till then and ordered his two daughters to be locked up in this tower until the appropriate time.
Following this, the emperor occupied himself with intense prayers to God for providing the solution to this problem. According to the legend the deity whom the emperor prayed to, descended down to earth and took the form of a grey wolf. He then took one of the daughters of the emperor in marriage and nine children were born out of this wedlock. The nine children were given the title of “Oguz” which meant a goodhearted descent. Their voices were like that of a wolf.
The legend continues to narrate that all of the nine children carried with them the spirit of the grey wolf. With the passage of time their population grew because of which the Turkish people acquired some characteristics of the grey wolf. This includes virtues like courage, strength and agility.
The theme of the legend has been picked up by many Turkish artists who have depicted the grey wolf and the emperor’s daughters in many of their paintings. It is important to note that this legend dates back to before the Ottoman reign because the content of the legend is directly in conflict with the Islamic faith practiced by the Ottomans.