Causes Salur Kazan Kills

Ulusan Ozturkmen U. E., KARA Ç.

MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.134, no.134, pp.27-38, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 134 Issue: 134
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.27-38
  • Keywords: Causality, Salur Kazan, killing, prestige, dragon
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


One of the characters who make battles and treaties in Dede Korkut Epics is Kazan, thus, he is the one who engages in conflicts the most and kills. Supported by examples from other epics when necessary, the article focuses on the act of killing in the five epics in which Salur Kazan acts as the main character. Kazan kills his enemies, kills his hunts, kills the rulers whom he thinks betray, and also thinks of killing his son or supporters who are likely to overshadow his success. Therefore, death in Kazan epics is presented as the inevitable outcome of a series of events consisting of many actions. The aim of the article is to determine the causes behind Kazan's choice to kill among many other options of punishment. Moving from the cause-effect relations in epics and the clues provided by the epic narrator, in the article, the motives of Kazan for killing are questioned with the help of theories from various disciplines such as folklore, anthropology, psychology, and sociology on topics such as emotions, individual, society, environment, lineage, family, religious-magical beliefs. Society, lineage, bad heritage, religion, social institutions/oppression, personality, and emotions can be determined as the direct catalyst for Kazan's decision to kill and his implementation of this decision. Social causes for Kazan's killing are as follows: the shame and humiliation caused by social pressure; the pressure embodied by vengeance and oaths; Kazan's being a representative of alp type; his imperative to preserve his position; cross-species transitions and beliefs in the society; and the unwary environment full of enemies. The mind-set/mind that prompts to kill is related to Kazan' high risk-taking attitude; thus, he easily takes risks such as fighting the dragon alone, attacking the enemy alone by rejecting the shepherd who wants to assist him and fighting with his friends without revealing his identity. As a result of the risks he takes his legendary image becomes stronger. In Kazan narratives, emotions are other cause of storylines that start with conflicts and result in death. Feelings such as pain, grief, and sorrow stand out as the initial emotions that prepare Kazan for conflict. The feelings of fear/fearlessness and anger that have objective orientations are functional as driving emotions that increase the physical strength of those who fight with the enemy during combat. Jealousy and feelings of revenge, which are related to moral patterns and have more complex orientations, constitute the main causality behind violence and death. At the end of the analysis, it is determined that in Dede Korkut narratives, shame and humiliation are emotions with social bases, and they create pressure; therefore, the epic characters kill to get rid of the burden of these social emotions. The causes why the characters in Dede Korkut choose to kill are consistent with the theories on killing/murder put forward by universal science. However, the social causes associated with positive social values are particularly on the foreground in Dede Korkut epics. It can be claimed that Salur's risk-taking personality and novelty seeking temperament are the real cause why he kills.