To mark the 123rd birth anniversary of Veysel Şatıroğlu, a renowned Turkish wandering poet-musician, also known as a bard ('aşık' in Turkish), Google on Wednesday dedicated a special doodle to him on its welcome page.
Google Turkey changed its regular logo with a doodle showing an animation of a photo of Aşık Veysel playing a "bağlama" (long-necked Turkish lute with three double strings) while singing a "türkü" (Turkish folk song).
Veysel was a poet, songwriter, and a bağlama virtuoso, and also a prominent representative of the Anatolian "aşık" (ashik) tradition in the 20th century.
Aşık Veysel was born on Oct. 25, 1894, in the Sivrialan village of Şarkışla, a sub-province belonging to Sivas in eastern Turkey. His parents lost two infant daughters, before Veysel was born, due to smallpox, a severely-contagious disease that killed countless small children in Turkey. Unfortunately, Veysel also suffered from the same disease and lost both of his eyes at the age of seven.
After Veysel lost his sight, his father Ahmet gave him a bağlama to keep him company. After learning how to play the instrument, Veysel quickly became devoted to it, playing it day and night while singing folkloric songs/ poems traditional to Sivas to the elders of the village.
Veysel's hardships didn't end with losing his eyes. He lost many of his peers and his only brother during World War I. In the early 1920s, Veysel married a woman named Esma, and they had a son and a daughter. However, their son died 10 days after his birth, and around the same time he also lost his parents.
Not long after that, his wife Esma ran off with a servant and left Veysel alone with their 6-year-old daughter. His daughter also died at a young age.
Despite everything he went through, Veysel stood out with his patience, modesty and mildness. His songs are usually sad tunes, but carry messages of peace, unity and justice. His lyrics were full of multiple emotions at the same time, the joy of living and melancholy, optimism, hope and despair were often intertwined in one song.
He also often sang about how he saw the world as a blind man, which was evident in his famous words: "Who said it is dark? There is such a broad and beautiful world inside me that nobody can see or understand."