International Committee for Crimea, Inc.
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The following poem by the Crimean Tatar scholar and poet Bekir Sitki Çobanzade (1893-1937) was composed on 1 June 1918 in Budapest, Hungary, where was working on his doctoral degree. He praises his mother tongue, telling the reader how the Tatar language has been a source of inspiration as well as solace during the times of sorrow. On the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2013, we are pleased to publish the English translation of "Tuvgan Til" by Mubeyyin Batu Altan. Ed.
Native Tongue (Tuvgan Til)
By Bekir Sitki Çobanzade
I discovered you in Crimea, in Kazan,
Walking sadly and hurt in far away lands,
Without your songs, and your poems,
Whatever you call yourself, a Turk or a Tatar,
At the gates of Vienna, in Kazakh land,
I want to hear you everywhere,
If you penetrate into mosques, mihrabs and palaces,
When the angels interrogate me in my grave,
While anxieties nibble my soul away,
Translated from Crimean Tatar into English by Mubeyyin Batu Altan, New York, 9 February 2013
See also: Çobanzade: "A Crimean Tatar Poet and Turkic Scholar," a book review by Inci Bowman.
Posted: 20 February 2013