Evil spirits and the cult of forest in Turkish culture Türk kültüründe ruhlar ve orman kültü

Ergun P.

Milli Folklor, no.87, pp.113-121, 2010 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Name: Milli Folklor
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.113-121
  • Keywords: Evil spirits, Forest cult, Holy, Taiga
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: No


The forest means "multitude, evil, chaos" in Turkish mythology. Thus it is admitted as the symbol of evil spirits' place. Contrary to "the lonely trees symbolizing the unity of God", the forest is perceived as a place symbol abandoned by God or decoded only by holy people. Therefore in most folk narratives, forest is described as the place where blessed heroes combat with evil spirits by decoding mythological code. "Korugs" protecting the tombs of holy people and "white and red taigas" should be evaluated separately from -forest- black forests. Because they are created from holy blessed heroes and their holy animals' bones of. These places are used to be protected from evil spirits; so they are the places God's holiness is manifested. Perception of the forest in Turkish culture cannot be considered apart from their mythological roots. The Turkish nation, nearly in every layer of our cultural history, paid maximum attention to the practices related to forests as the production of mythological thinking. It is advised that people behave prudently in speech, behavior and mythological applications. The meaning of accuracy today has become indistinct. But the mythological traces continue to live. The idioms which have mythological meanings such as "stir up a hornet's nest," today exist in a way. This reveals our cultural world's deepness and richness related to evil spirits and cult of forest.