Asik Veysel

1894 - 1973

Asik Veysel (Veysel Satiroglu) is among the minstrels of the Republican era. Born in the Sivrialan village of Sarkisla (district of Sivas), he lost his sight at the age of 7 during a smallpox epidemic. He developed his talents as he got familiar with the broken saz, a string instrument given to him by his father to keep him entertained, and as he listen to the wandering minstrels visiting Sivrialan. When both his mother and father died in 1920, he was left alone with his saz and the children of his elder brother. He gained recognition in Turkish literature after 1931. He reached Ankara for the 10th year anniversary of the Republic established by Atatürk after traveling on foot for three months. He traveled around the country, reciting his poetry and playing his saz. He was a teacher of folk songs at various village institutes. His house he lived in Sivas was restored and converted into a museum in 1982.

All poems of Asik Veysel were collected by Umit Yasar Oguzcan and published with the title "Let the Friends Remember Me" (1970). A book of collected works edited by U. Y. Oguzcan was also published in 1973 which includes his biography and articles written about him and his poetry.

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) marked 2023 as the "Year of Asik Veysel" to commemorate 50th year of his death.