Turkish fairy tales of Arzu and Kamber

Turkish fairy tales of Arzu and Kamber

Turkish folk tale, thought to have originated in the 16th-17th century, about the love of two young people who grow up thinking they are brothers. Plot A caravan on the pilgrimage route is raided by bandits. Only a little boy survives the raid. The boy is adopted by a family and given the name Kamber.

After a while, this family has a daughter and names her Arzu. The two children grow up thinking each other as siblings. After a while, they become interested and close. When they learn that they are not siblings, they want to get married. Arzu’s mother opposes this marriage and marries her daughter off to a rich merchant. Kamber, who is a “lover of truth”, begins to play the saz and sing poetry (as in the story of Leyla and Majnun) and falls into the mountains. Arzu keeps her husband away from her and he soon dies of grief.

Arzu and Kamber try again to get married, but their mother prevents them. The lovers find each other by a coincidence. In the excitement of the meeting, both faint. The wicked mother, who is always watching her daughter, wants to separate them again, but she cannot reach them because the water is all around them. Soon a dove flies out of the breasts of the two lovers and they both die there.

Arzu ile Kamber is a very common love story among Turks. It circulates in Anatolia, Rumelia, Azerbaijan, Turkestan and Iraq (Kirkuk). This story, which has been published many times as a folk book and read with interest, is also found in manuscript copies in libraries. There are various Arabic alphabet lithographed editions of Arzu ile Kamber.


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