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This deyiş makes its first appearance in publication in Gölpınarlı and Boratav’s 1943 collection. It is one of the many deyiş collected by Aşık Ali İzzet Özkan, in this case from Hüseyin Efendi from Kale village in Divriği. This is one of the clearest most insistent of the kızılbaş ‘optative’ lyrics recounting the desires and hopes that the triumph of the Şah (Shah) and the coming of the Mehdi will bring. As is common in these lyrics, mention of the Shah evokes both the great Shah Ali (Şah-ı Merdan, although not with that epithet in this case) and the Safavid monarch, unnamed although the reference to Husrev with its connotation of the ‘great monarch’ Cyrus makes this clear. It is indeed a battle cry, mentioning holy war (gaza) and the sword of Ali, Zülfikar. The lyric has an  almost ecstatic quality in its repetition the dervish’s cry for victory. The mahlas is slightly odd being in the genitive case although the following line dramatically shifts the lyric to a personal declaration. I have left ‘Rum’ untranslated in this version although it could be translated simply as ‘Anatolia’.  Good stuff. This early draft translation leaves some terms untranslated that I will probably consider translations for later: bey (chief, noble), paşa (someone of high rank) and dede (devish leader, from the ehlibeyt line).

Pir Sultan Abdal: Hak’tan inayet olursa

Translation: Paul Koerbin

If by the grace of God

May the Shah come to Rum one day

In holy battle may he strike Zulfikar

Against the unbelievers one day

May all tribes come together

May they be slaves for the Shah

The destitute in the land of Rum

May they rejoice and smile one day

May they raise and bear the banner

May the Shah sit in Istanbul

May he return the captives from the Franks

May he release them to Horasan one day

May he gather together bey and pasha

May he sieze the four exremities

May the monarch march and enjoy

May Ali establish court one day

That the Shah’s rose was born

That abundant mercy rained down

That happy days were born

May such a world rejoice one day

My dede Mahdi must come

Ali must establish the court

He must break down injustice

May he wreak vengeance one day

Pir Sultan’s work is but a sigh

I am in expectation of the beautiful Shah

The administration that is sovereign

May he be its master one day


Original Turkish text from Gölpınarlı and Boratav (1943)

Hak’tan inayet olursa

Şah Urum’a gele bir gün

Gazâda bu Zülfikarı

Kâfirlere çala bir gün

Hep devşire gele iller

Şah’a ola köle kullar

Urumda ağlıyan sefiller

Şâd ola da güle bir gün

Çeke sancağı götüre

Şah İstanbul’a otura

Firenkten yesir getire

Horasana sala bir gün

Devşire beyi paşayı

Zapteyleye dört köşeyi

Husrev ede temaşayı

Âli divan kura bir gün

Gülü Şah’ın doğdu deyü

Bol ırahmet yağdu deyü

Kutlu günler doğdu deyü

Şu âlem şâd ola bir gün

Mehdi Dedem gelse gerek

Âli divan kursa gerek

Haksızları kırsa gerek

İntikamın ala bir gün

Pir Sultan’ın işi ahtır

İntizarım güzel Şah’tır

Mülk iyesi padişahtır

Mülke sahib ola bir gün