Date: March 20, 2008
Web Site: http://www.lightmillennium.org
Light Millennium Proudly Presents for
its 8th Anniversary Celebration...
You are cordially invited to an extraordinary
GREAT TURKISH FOLK POET OF LOVE
A presentation on
the great Sufi writer Yunus Emre
By Prof. Talat HALMAN,
University, Ankara, &
First Minister of Culture of the Republic
Prof. Etem EROL, Columbia University,
New York City
Date: Friday, April 11, 2008
Time: 7 - 9:30PM
University, Schermerhorn Building,
116th Street & Broadway Avenue (or
the gate, walk about thirty yards, go
up the stairs, go around Low Memorial
Library, after Avery Building.)
"For those who truly love God and his ways
All the people of the world are brothers.
We regard no one's religion as contrary to ours,
True love is born when all faiths are
united as a whole.
True faith is in the head, not in the headgear."
Producer: Bircan Ünver, Light Millennium
In collaboration with the MEI - Middle East Institute, MEALAC -
Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures of the Columbia University
E-mails: email@example.com /or
7:00 PM - Welcoming & Introduction by Prof. Etem EROL
7:30 PM - Presentation by Prof. Talat HALMAN, First Minister of
Culture of the Republic of Turkey Turkey
8:30 PM - Questions & Answers
9:00-9:30 - Networking
Open to the public. Max. sitting capacity: 155
You are cordially invited to an extraordinary
occasion on "YUNUS EMRE: CONTEMPORAY
OF RUMI – A GREAT TURKISH FOLK POET
OF LOVE: A POETRY PRESENTATION by Prof.
Talat HALMAN, First Minister of Culture
of the Republic of Turkey.
Talat S. Halman will present a special program about Yunus Emre
(ca. 1241 - 1321), and poems by Yunus
Emre, a near-contemporary of RUMI.
This live presentation will convey YUNUS EMRE’s love for
a united humanity, social justice, and
universalistic values. In the late 13th
and early 14th century, this mystic created
lyric poems and hymns to celebrate human
and divine love and issued eloquent calls
for a world living in peace and harmony.
In 1991, on the occasion of the 750th
anniversary of his birth, UNESCO declared
an International YUNUS EMRE Year.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO)
proclaimed 1991 as the "International
Yunus Emre Year." This resolution
was adopted to celebrate the 750th anniversary
of the great Anatolian poet of the 13th
Yunus Emre was one of the first and most influential Turkish poets
and Sufi philosophers. He was considered
to be the founder of Anatolian Turkish
literature and, in that sense, is compared
to Dante in Europe. His Sufi approach
has influenced many Islamic sects; his
hymns have been recited, chanted and handed
down by mouth from one generation to the
next since the late 13th century.
Many poets who lived after his death borrowed his name and contributed
to the major pool of hymns bearing his
name. There exist numerous tombs attributed
to him all over Anatolia.
Information on his life has been derived from events and personalities
cited in his verse. A total of 357 poems
have been attributed to him as a result
of literary analyses. Yunus came from
a poor peasant family and was initiated
into a mystic sect of Islam. He is said
to have met Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, the
poet and founder of Mevlevi sect. According
to _Velayetname_ (the Book of the Saints
of the Bektasi order), Yunus was a student
of Tapduk Emre, a dervish who belonged
to a school of Turkish intellectuals coming
from Asia in front of the Mongol flood
towards Anatolia. Yunus Emre lived in
a most unstable, chaotic period of Anatolian
history, a time when the Mongolian invaders
abolished the Seljuk State.
Under these conditions of persistent injustice, robbery and murder,
Yunus Emre invited people to the love
of God, human beings, and peace.
When love arrives, all needs and flaws are gone.
I love you beyond the depths of my soul.
I was born with divine love.
Death is for beasts, it is not the Lover's destiny.
I love you, so the hand of death can never touch me.
- Yunus EMRE (1241-1321)
Unlike Mevlana who wrote in Persian, the literary language of the
era, Yunus expressed himself in his native
tongue, Turkish. His language is direct
and easy-to-understand, while his style
is rich in Sufi metaphors. His verses
are full of penetrating, humane and enthusiastic
feelings and ideas. According to his approach,
God and man are the same; everyone has
a piece of God within himself, and only
the body dies and the soul reaches God,
but only if he has loved mankind and forgiven
faults, endured pains and tried to learn
the secrets, the reasons, and the forms
Prof. Talat Halman is a principal scholar/translator of YUNUS EMRE's
work. In 1971 he published the first English-language
book ever on YUNUS EMRE - - "The
Humanist Poetry of YUNUS EMRE". This
work was followed by "YUNUS EMRE
and His Mystical Poetry"(1981) and
"YUNUS EMRE: Selected Poems"(1990).
In Turkey he published a critical book
on YUNUS EMRE in 2003. His work relating
to YUNUS EMRE includes dozens of articles
in Turkish and English and numerous major
lectures in the United States, Turkey,
For decades he was on the faculties of Columbia, Princeton, UPenn
and NYU. Since 1998, he has been serving
as the Chairman of the Department of Turkish
Literature at Bilkent, Turkey's premier
This program is brought to you by the Light Millennium in collaboration
with the MEI - Middle East Institute,
MEALAC - Middle \ East and Asian Languages
and Cultures of the Columbia University.
A Brief Biography of Prof. Talat Halman:
Talat Halman served as the first Minister of Culture of the Turkish
Republic. Currently he is Professor
and Chairman, Department of Turkish Literature and Dean of Humanities and Letters, Bilkent University.
Formerly he was on the faculties
of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and
Princeton Universities for many
years, and from 1986 to 1996, Professor
and Chairman of the Department
of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at New York University. He served as Ambassador for Cultural
Turkey's Deputy Permanent Representative
at the United Nations. He has published more than sixty books (including 12 collections of
poetry in Turkish and English)
and 3000 articles in Turkish and English.
From 1991 to 1995, he served as an elected member of the UNESCO
Executive Board. Currently he is
President of the UNICEF Turkish
National Committee. He holds honorary
doctorates from Bogazici and Ankara Universities. Honours and awards
include Distinguished Service Awards of
the Turkish Academy of Sciences and the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and "Knight
Cross, G.B.E., The Most Excellent
Order of the British Empire", (counterpart
of "Sir") conferred on him by
Queen Elizabeth II.
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