"The power of poetry transcends class in the 16th-century Ottoman Empire at Center for Turkish Studies event"
November 13, 2019
Olivia Doyle for the Columbia Daily Spectator reported on the Sakıp Sabancı Center event "Ottoman Culture and Literature in the Age of Süleyman the Magnificent", held at Columbia University on November 11, 2019.
Kalpakli’s talk focused on culture and literature during the Ottoman Empire’s Golden Age in the 16th century—with special attention to an integral aspect of society at the time: poetry.
“Poetry was everywhere. They are speaking through poetry,” Kalpakli said. “In every level of society you can see poetry. The sultan himself was a poet. Poetry is a language for communication.”
At a time when art and culture flourished as much as the expanding empire’s conquests, poetry was especially important to the highest reaches of Ottoman society—namely the sultan himself. Having written over 3,000 poems, the 16th-century Suleiman the Magnificent often wrote letters to his sons in the form of couplets.