Reflections of The Ashab-i Kehf in Terms of Transtextuality on Turkish Language and Literature

ERDEM M., Demir A.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.121, pp.16-29, 2019 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 121
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.16-29
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The story of Companions of the Cave (Seven Sleepers) is an important intertextual source for both eastern and western culture. With the influence of Islam in Turkish culture, especially in religious works, Companions of the Cave did not only live in religious domain but has played a significant role in Turkish cultural life until now. It has always been one of the most indispensable narratives of Turkish language and literature with the multiple messages it contains and the symbols it creates. In today's Turkish literary world, the effect of the story continues by increasing and changing. The story of Companions of the Cave, which has different variations in the early works of the Turkish language, has gained new meanings in various branches of Turkish literature (Ottoman Court literature, Turkish Folk literature and Modern Turkish literature). As the narrative of Companions of the Cave acts as a source for many literary products; it is transformed and reproduced within many oral and written literary works, many literary products carry the traces of that story in terms of structure, content, language and narration and the story is internalized and many items of it are referenced in different literary works. For these reasons, it is naturally essential for that story to be reconsidered with an understanding of "intertextuality"- an interdisciplinary concept concerning about texts establishing explicit or implicit relations with other texts. In this study, considering Gerard Genette's 'transtextuality' concept, one of the most important theoreticians of intertextuality, the narrative of Companions of the Cave in Turkish language and literature and interrelation of other texts derived from this narrative will be evaluated on selected literary samples. Thus, through intertextual elements (such as referentiality, adumbration, rewriting, transformation) of the narrative of Companions of the Cave, the cultural continuity phenomenon which is shaped through oral and written texts within the historical process through 'transtextuality' will be better understood by introducing updated contextual, formal, fictional patterns.