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Traditional Turkish Puppet Shadow Theater: Karagöz & Hacivat 2020

The fights between uneducated yet witty Karagoz and literate Hacivat used to make even the very Sultan laugh


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Popularised in the late Medieval Ages, Turkish puppet shadow plays used to entertain the Ottoman Sultans, and nowadays still remain a celebrated form of entertainment held in public venues during the end of Ramadan's celebration. One of the best locations to experience Karagöz shadow puppet play is the place of its origin Bursa, namely at the Covered Bazaar, or at the International Bursa Karagöz Puppet and Shadow Theater Festival that takes place in November. Also, Istanbul International Puppet Festival in late October–early November and Izmir International Puppet Days in March offer more chances to enjoy puppetry arts.

Karagöz and Hacivat are two leading characters of the Turkish shadow theatre, which represents two different parts of society—uneducated people who are frequently marked with wit, and educated ones who show off their literacy using sophisticated language. Such plays have little action and are based mainly on fun, jokes, and song and dance. Karagöz and Hacivat are constantly fighting and making the spectators laugh.

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