Turkish Cultural Memory in Croatian Folk Sayings and Proverbs in The Context of Intercultural Interaction


MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.2020, no.126, pp.223-237, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2020 Issue: 126
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.223-237
  • Keywords: Intercultural interaction, Croatian proverbs and folk sayings, cultural memory, Turkish, Balkans
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Thousands of dead or living languages on earth have not come out spontaneously. Although the various theories about the emergence of languages differ from each other, the result is common. Languages, people; social life, geography, religion, history, culture have changed and developed for many more reasons. Due to immigration, wars, commercial and social relations, religion and similar reasons, culture have affected each other for centuries. This interaction deepens in the memory and daily lives of societies and gains persistence and is transmitted from generation to generation over time. The set of symbols that provide communication by conveying language, emotions and thoughts is also the main tool of intercultural interaction. Whether the people, who took their languages, beliefs and traditions together with them, lived actually in these places or not could be easily understood in some cases by concrete indicators and in other cases by abstract indicators such as language, beliefs and the values that are still alive in these regions. These values reflect the identity of the persons or groups. Songs, folk songs, lullabies, beliefs, metaphors, nouns reflect the cultural memories of societies as the bearer and representative of a culture. The cultural value of proverbs comes to the fore when the concept of the cultural memory is evaluated from the perspective of being "reminder" as proverbs consist of concepts and words belonging to the world of emotion, world view, emotion value, invocation and metaphor that have been accumulated for centuries with their belief systems, traditions, geography, in short every aspect of sociology and culture of these societies. Proverbs and idioms that emerge as a product of a certain experience, traditional oral culture in societies have the feature of being a mirror of a language with its effect on expressing oral and written expression. It is possible to encounter proverbs in Balkan region that remind us the Turkish culture and the existence of Turkish language. Today's Croatian territory was officially under the rule of Ottoman Empire for nearly two hundred years. Besides, since Croatians have been in constant contact with Bosnian-Muslim (Bosniak) Turks and Turkish language influenced both the Croatian language and consequently the Croatian proverbs both in terms of their meaning and the vocabulary used in these proverbs. In this study, which is carried out with document analysis method, the proverbs subject to the research were obtained by scanning 3248 proverbs in Mate Ujevia's (2011) "Narodne poslovice" (Folk's Proverbs). The meanings, necessity and etymology of Turkish words in these proverbs, which are given in Croatian and then Turkish, in alphabetical order, are clarified. The meaning and the etymological structure of these 86 proverbs are identified in reference to the Dictionary "Turcizmi u srpskohrvatskom jezik" written by Abdulah Skaljic (1965). Academic studies in the field of language, history and culture in relation to the Balkans mainly focus on Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Albania. In this study, the Turkish presence in Croatia and the Turkish cultural memory are evaluated through proverbs.