M. Kemal ÖKTEM
The aim of this study is to trace the main values of Turkish culture through a reasearch on Köroğlu’s – who is an anonimous poet and hero – poems, and to compare those values with aspects put forward by modern cultural research. In order to do this, Hofstede’s approach, which is tested and re-tested in many countries including Turkey, and gave grades to those dimensions in each specific country, has been adopted. Hofstede uses basic dimensions in his cultural studies which has a 5-dimension framework, namely power distance, individualism, uncertainity avoidance, masculinity, and long-term orientation. Using those dimensions and matching Köroğlu’s poems within this frame, poems have been analysed and an attempt has been made to construct a valid correlation with those dimensions. Thus, those cultural values stemming from traditional experiences, crystallizing into current times and reflecting our social culture, enable us to interpret cultural values in context. In modern times, those traditional values have an impact upon quality of life, and by comparing values in terms of those dimensions, an attempt is made to better understand our cultural values. Accordingly, Turkish cultural values emphasized in Köroğlu’s poems are consistent with tendencies identified by Hofstede’s findings: high power distance index, collectivism, high level of uncertainity avoidance, femininity characteristics are forefronted. Although there is no measured value in the dimension of long-term orientation, there are clues suggesting its existence in Köroğlu’s poems.
Key Words: Köroğlu, Turkish Culture, Public Values, Social Culture.