"Sevelim Sevilelim (Let’s Love and be Loved)"

emre1If you're travelling between İstanbul and Ankara with time on your hands you could divert through Eskişehir to Sivrihisar and then visit the nearby villages of Nasrettin Hoca and Yunus Emre. 

The walls of Nasrettin Hoca are plastered with pithy stories about the medieval sage interspersed with lines from Yunus Emre, the great mystical poet and a near contemporary of the hoca who is believed to have lived from around 1240 to around 1321. Rarely can two men have appeared to have less in common than these two, but in fact Emre’s poems are also well known for the way in which they can be read on several different levels.

Perhaps more importantly for the passing traveller the village of Yunus Emre lies not far away from that of Nasrettin Hoca. It's one of seven different places competing for the accolade of hosting his last resting place.

The road to Yunus Emre branches off from the Eskişehir to Ankara road on the northern side just before the turn-off to Nasrettin Hoca. It winds past several of the marble quarries that provide much of the employment hereabouts before climbing into pretty hill country around the village of Yayla and then zig-zagging down to a small complex incorporating an uninspiring mosque, a small museum, and a cultural centre.

The one thing of real beauty here is the lovely marble cenotaph built in the poet’s honour which looks across to the supposed site of his interment adorned only with his name, his dates, and the words Sevelim Sevilelim (Let’s love and be Loved), the title of perhaps the most beautiful and famous of his poems. 

Transport info

Buses from Eskişehir to Ankara pass the junctions for Nasrettin Hoca and Yunus Emre. Without your own transport you should get out at the petrol station marked by the statue of the hoca and ask someone to call a taxi for you.

Alternatively, hire a taxi from Sivrihisar to take you to both Nasrettin Hoca and Yunus Emre. Agree a return fare including waiting time before setting out.


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