Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Favourite Turkish archery quotes

As archery had a big place in Turkish society, many proverbs and expressions are archery related. These are my top favourites:

1. Archery is a trouble, only the one who endures it knows.
(Okçuluk bir beladır, onu çeken bilir)

2. It is not the wind, the bow nor the archer, it is only God, who brings your arrow to its target/distance.
(Ne hava ne keman, ve ne kemankeş, ancak erdiren menziline tiri nida-yı Ya Hak)

3. If you leave archery one day, it will leave you 10 days
(Sen okçuluğu bir gün bırakırsan o seni 10 gün bırakır)

4. A hungry wrestler is more desirable/successful, but an archer with a full stomach is more desirable/successful
(Pehlivanın açı, kemankeşin toku makbuldur)

5. Who shoot arrows shoots gold
(Ok atan altın atar)

6. A flight record is not shot by force, it is shot by art/skill/ability
(Menzil zor ile atılmaz, sanat ile atılır)

7. The worst thing is to try to shoot as well as your previous shot

Some Islamic ones:
1. Due to an arrow 3 people will go to heaven. The one who makes the arrow, the one who shoots it, and the one who gives the arrow to the shooter
(Bir ok sebebiyle üç kişi cennete girer: Biri ok yapan, biri ok atan, biri de oku atanın eline veren)

2. All games are unreasoned, only shooting arrows with a bow, training the horse and spend good time with your wife are not.
(Tüm oyunlar batıldır, ancak yay ile ok atmak, atı terbiye etmek ve hanımıyla oynaşmak günah değildir)

Some more proverbs which are used today, either about archery or about horses:
1.  A good horse is called bay/chestnut, a good man is called courageous
(Atın iyisine doru, yiğidin iyisine deli derler)

2. A bird without wings, a Turk without a horse
(Kuş kanatsız, Türk atsız)

3. The horse for the one who can ride, the sword for the one, who can use it
(At binenin, kılıç kuşananın)

4. When the horse dies the arena stays, when the courageous person dies the fame/glory stays
(At ölür meydan kalır, yiğit ölür şan kalır)

5. The horse needs a saddle, the saddle needs a hero/brave man
(Ata eyer gerek, eyere yiğit gerek)


  1. I like this very much! In particular, I would love to use the quote, "A bird without wings, a Turk with a horse", for an article I'm writing. I will also site your blog. Is this okay with you? Where does this quote come from originally?

  2. Would it be possible to write the 2nd one in an arabic calligraphy?

    "Ne hava ne keman, ve ne kemankeş, ancak erdiren menziline tiri nida-yı Ya Hak"

    Recently a friend of mine made a yatagan for me, and I would like to have the sentence written on the handle of it.
    Thanks a lot in advance.

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