Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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(674 words)

Âşık, a term meaning “lover” (Ar. ʿāshiq), and frequently employed in Ṣūfī poetry in a mystical sense, is used in Turkish to refer to itinerant poet-singers and storytellers who accompany themselves on the saz (long-necked lute). The term came to be used in this sense in Anatolia and Azerbaijan by the tenth/sixteenth century, before which such figures were known as ozan. The âşık tradition spread to the Balkans during the Ottoman period. Minstrels belonging to a similar Armenian tradition are known as ashugh (ashough).

The âşık tradition emerged from two main streams: the epic-s…

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Soileau, Mark L., “Âşık”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 17 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_SIM_0099>
First published online: 2007
First print edition: 9789004150171, 2007, 2007-1

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