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For most of the history of Turkish literature, the salient difference between the folk and the written traditions has been the variety of language employed.The folk tradition, by and large, was oral and remained free of the influence of Persian and Arabic literature, and consequently of those literatures' respective languages.In folk poetry—which is by far the tradition's dominant genre—this basic fact led to two major consequences in terms of poetic style: Furthermore, Turkish folk poetry has always had an intimate connection with song—most of the poetry was, in fact, expressly composed so as to be sung—and so became to a great extent inseparable from the tradition of Turkish folk music.In contrast to the tradition of Turkish folk literature, Turkish written literature—prior to the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923—tended to embrace the influence of Persian and Arabic literature.
Just as Turkish folk poetry was intimately bound up with Turkish folk music, so did Ottoman Divan poetry develop a strong connection with Turkish classical music, with the poems of the Divan poets often being taken up to serve as song lyrics.Turkish folk literature is an oral tradition deeply rooted, in its form, in Central Asian nomadic traditions.However, in its themes, Turkish folk literature reflects the problems peculiar to a settling (or settled) people who have abandoned the nomadic lifestyle.) comprises oral compositions and written texts in the Turkish language, either in its Ottoman and Azerbaijani or in less exclusively literary forms, such as that spoken in Turkey today.The Ottoman and Azeri forms of Turkish, which forms the basis of much of the written corpus, are highly influenced by Persian and Arabic literature, The oldest extant records of written Turkic are the Orhon inscriptions, found in the Orhon River valley in central Mongolia and dating to the 7th century.
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Subsequent to this period, between the 9th and 11th centuries, there arose among the nomadic Turkic peoples of Central Asia a tradition of oral epics, such as the Book of Dede Korkut of the Oghuz Turks—the linguistic and cultural ancestors of the modern Turkish people—and the Manas epic of the Kyrgyz people.