top of page

anatolian ashik 





*ashik -lover

ashik: Turkishaşık, Azerbaijaniaşıq, Arabic:عاشؽق Persianعاشیق, Hindu: आशिक

ashugh: ArmenianաշուղGeorgianაშუღი

The first rule of being an ‘Aşık’ (bard) is to be in Love!

With a lover, or a flower, humankind, nature, and the creator.

All your words and descriptions should be made with Love.

The second rule is to play the Lute (or a stringed instrument). Anatolian music is a maqam music that utilizes microtones that are not present in the Western music system. And this maqam structure is varied according to different areas. One must possess a great knowledge of the playing styles and maqams of the area they are representing. Lastly, and this is the vital point, one has to possess a substantial knowledge of literature.

Barış Güney, London, 2021

Ashik music is a traditional genre of music from Turkey. It is characterized by its use of the saz/baglama, a long-necked lute, as the primary instrument. The lyrics of Ashik songs often deal with themes of mystic love and nature, and the style is known for its improvisation and expressiveness. Ashik musicians, known as "Ashik" themselves, are traditionally itinerant performers who travel from place to place, playing at events such as weddings, rituals and festivals.

For centuries, the spiritual and cultural identity of Anatolia has been embodied in the ashik. Ashik in Turkish literally means "one who is in love” and ashiks are those who are consumed by an inner spiritual passion so strong that they are compelled to sing. In the days of old, they forsook their home to wander alone from village to village, singing of longings that found solace only in poetry and music. Ashiks play the saz, a lute-like instrument whose current form dates from the twelfth century. Their stories and poems are derived from personal, spiritual, and historical sources; always from memory, they sing of unrequited loves, of ancient heroes, of God, and of man.

David Grabias, Los Angeles, 1999


Asik Veysel (1894-1973) was a Turkish folk poet and songwriter from Sivas, Turkey. He was also known as Asik Veysel Şatıroğlu. He is considered one of the greatest poets of Turkish folk literature and is known for his unique style of poetry, which often used humor and satire to address social and political issues. He wrote over 300 songs and poems, many of which are still popular today. He was also known for his traditional style of playing the bağlama, a stringed instrument commonly used in Turkish folk music. Asik Veysel's work was heavily influenced by his life experiences, including his time as a soldier during World War I and his struggles as a farmer and shepherd. He was also deeply spiritual, and his work often reflected his strong Sufi/Alevi beliefs.

He was honored as a "National Poet" by the Turkish government in 1973, the year of his death.

UNESCO commemorates the 50th anniversary of poet-musician-bard Ashik Veysel in 2023. Turkey recognized this year as the year of Ashik Veysel.

Meet our Master Musician of Ashik Tradition:

Karadeli is a performer and teacher of the long-necked Anatolian lute Baglama. For more than 40 years, he has taught at the renowned Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory for Turkish Music and in his private studio. He has given numerous concerts and workshops in countries including Norway, Finland, Russia, Germany, Libya, Denmark, Austria, England, and Switzerland. A frequent performer on radio and television programs in Turkey, he has taken the stage with renowned folk music artists including Nida and Neriman Altındağ Tüfekçi, Arif Sağ, Yavuz Top, Mehmet Erenler, Ali Ekber Çiçek, Musa Eroğlu, Can Etili and Hüseyin Turan. Among the hundreds of students he has mentored, several have gone on to achieve fame as folk music artists in their own right, including Erdal Erzincan, Cengiz Özkan, Zara, Sevcan Orhan, and Ahmet Arslan. 


This is a community of music enthusiasts who gather frequently to share their love for Turkish Music through intimate practice sessions and special performances for the wider Bay Area community. They honor the improvisational tradition of Turkish music, allowing themselves to be inspired by the musical muses that arise from the bonds they have formed in their circle. Their approach to music seeks to unite people from diverse backgrounds and to capture the local essence of their audience. Their repertoire includes folk songs from Ashiks/Bards of Turkey, as well as classical themes.


Saz Master Sendogan Karadeli will lead a workshop series (3 workshops) which will be finalized with a performance. Musicians! Bring your instruments & voice! Listeners, music lovers, dancers... Come join us! And... Get the chance to perform on stage with a Turkish Saz Master in Ashkenaz!

Do not forget to register... Drop-ins welcome.






Workshop dates:


January 21, 2023  2-5 pm

January 22, 2023  2-5 pm

January 26, 2023  7-10 pm



This workshop will lead to a final performance of participants with Sendogan Karadeli at the Bay Area's world music hub Ashkenaz. The tickets for the event are at the link below:

​January 29, 2023 Sunday  6-8 pm

Event venue


Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, or just “Ashkenaz”, is a 50-year-old music venue and dance hall in the heart of West Berkeley. The venue holds decades of stories of community members — composed of dancers, musicians, audience members, volunteers, and staff, both past and present — who have found themselves drawn to this unique building and the music that lives within.

When you enter Ashkenaz, you will find yourself on 1500sq ft of wooden dance floor of the main hall, where we have hosted dances and performances from numerous cultures from across the globe. As you wait in line, you will notice our unusual Cafe, custom-built by the founder of Ashkenaz, David Nadel, and his friends. If you look up, you will also see custom-built stained glass throughout the main hall and through the rest of the building.


is organized by:


ANA+, as part of the In ANATOLIAN ASHIK event series in Memoriam Ashik Veysel. UNESCO commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of poet-musician-bard Ashik Veysel in 2023. Turkey recognized this year as the year of Ashik Veysel. ANA+ commits to organizing concerts, research projects, lectures, film screenings, and workshops on Ashik Veysel and Ashik Culture. Recognizing the diversity of ASHIK Tradition in Anatolia, ANA+ will also explore the lineage of Women Ashiks; and Ashik cultures in Armenian, Greek, Kurdish, and other communities, past and present. ANA+ is an interdisciplinary platform for events+research+education, bringing diverse arts and cultures of Anatolia to the Bay Area and beyond.



and supported by:

TAAC, Turkish American Association of California. TAAC's mission is to increase, improve, and promote public knowledge and understanding of Turkish culture, history, and people. This year TAAC, committing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Turkish Republic, organizing multiple art events to develop cultural cooperation between Turkey and the US.

Follow more of their work:




bottom of page