Who is Nasreddin Hodja

The people in Turkey are very familiar with the jokes and stories of Nasreddin Hodja. Since their childhood, people have been hearing these jokes all along. They are part of the Turkish culture. The whole thing began with a man called Nasreddin Hodja who has lived in central Turkey, in the small town called Aksehir. The jokes were part of his daily life and they became accepted and welcomed by the public since his time.

He was a man with great humor, he was very clever and had an answer to almost all the problems and the dilemmas of his time. Even today, about 600 years after he has lived and passed away, people in Turkey still laugh and think about his tricks, common sense, anecdotes and ingeniousness.
Nasreddin Hodja
Nasreddin Hodja's picture at Topkapi Palace Museum, XVIIth. Century hand written book

Common Turkish citizens and every institution of the Turkish society has received a criticism or remark from his philosophical mind. He did not spare his satire for the state, religion, culture or habits. All of the human psychology and social weaknesses received their part of laugh from him. He has seen the human element in each aspect of the everyday life and has used his wit to make everybody aware of the other side of reality. That is why his jokes are still alive today.

Nasreddin Hoca Statue

Question:"What do they do with the old full moons ?"
Answer:"They are cut and used as stars"

He has lived in 13th century according to some stories, but still lives among the Turkish people with his jokes. According to historical documents from Turkey, they are not very sure of his exact birth date or exactly how he lived. According to some other stories, he was in life when Tamerlane invaded Anatolia in 15th century and was born at Sivrihisar. People from this town have been well known for their ridicule and uniqueness.

Nasr-ed-Din means "Victory of Faith", Hodja means the "Master" or "Teacher". He has received this honorable title later in his life.

His father was a religious leader called "Imam" (leader of the public prayers in the mosque) and he was also qualified to become "Kadi" which is the person who distributes the religious law.

Between July 5-10 of each year, the International Nasreddin Hodja Festival takes place in Aksehir, where his tomb is. Turkish artists have used Nasreddin Hodja in theater pieces, music, movies, cartoons and paintings.

Today these jokes belong to Turkish people and the world. His stories reflect not only his life as a native of Anatolia but also his time and the life of the Turkish people living at that time in Anatolia. His jokes and stories are told today by the people of different countries and his jokes have been translated to many languages. Enjoy some of his jokes below :)))


Jokes1 | Jokes2 | Jokes3 | Jokes4


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