Turkish Wolf

The following story is collected from my friend. He lived in Turkey for the most part of his life. This interview is done on phone. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.


A:” Do you know any legends?”


B: :Turkish people had a nomadic culture many years ago. They would not stay in the same location for too long. They liked fighting but once they won the wars, they would just keep moving on rather than conquering the territory. When Turkish tribes moved from Asia to Anatolia, according to the legend, they lose their path. For few days, they can not find anyfood or water. Then just before they are about to die, a wolf show up. She is called “Asena”, which is a Turkish name still used this day. The wolf shows the way to water source and saves the people.The wolf is believed to save the Turks, and without her, there would be no Turks today.”


A: “Do people believe this?”


B: “Many people do. Over the years, it became a symbol for nationalism. There are organizations who call themselves; “Bozkurtlar” (The word means “Brownwolfs”). These people are right wing nationalist people and their symbol is the wolf, who saved the Turks. They even have a hand symbol that looks like a wolf. This wolf legend is very important for TUrkish identity”