Yunus Emre

Yunus Emre is probably the best-loved poet in Turkey, loved for his simple humanity as well as sublime wisdom. The information on his life is fragmentary, based on what he writes in his Diwan and on stories told within the Bektashi tradition.
According to Bektashi tradition, when Hajji Bektash arrived in Anatolia (Rūm), he summoned allthe great shaykhs to a meeting, but a man called Emre who “possessed great holiness” refused, When asked why, Emre explained that when he was called to the Sufi path, a hand, appearing from behind a curtain, had granted him permission, and that he had never seen anyone called Bektash at the banquet of the erenler (saints or spiritual guides) he had attended. 

When Hajji Bektahs asked if the hand had a mark on it, Emre replied that it had a green mole on the palm – at which point Bektash revealed his own hand, with the same mark, and the astonished Emre cried out three times “Tapduk padishahım” (At your service my Padishah) – from then on he was called Tapduk Emre.


In one of the villages nearby there was a very poor man called Yunus who worked as a farmhand. During a severe famine, Yunus decided to visit Hajji Bektash, news of whose miracles had spread far and wide, and ask for help. He went to the dergah (dervish lodge) and prostated before the pīr Hajji Bektash, giving him a gift of some medlars and asking for wheat in return. Hajji Bektash treated him kindly and he stayed at the dergah for several days. 

Then he wished to leave, at which Bektash said: ‘does he want wheat or the miraculous power (himma) of the saints (erenler)?’Yunus again asked for his wheat. When Bektash heard of his response, he said ‘If he wishes, I will blow on each medlar fruit’. Again Yunus wanted his wheat. Bektash then offered to exert his spiritual power on the seed of each medlar. But Yunus insisted on his wheat and was given it. shaykh

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