A Study on the Possibility of Contentization for Folktale-type Idiot Characters through the Case of Keloğlan in Turkey

Cho H.

Story and Image telling, vol.20, pp.327-364, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: Story and Image telling
  • Journal Indexes: Other Indexes
  • Page Numbers: pp.327-364


This study is to find the popular attraction factor of Keloğlan character, which is the protagonist of the Keloğlan's stories, representative Turkish idiot folktales, and as a national character of Turkey, which is still reproduced endlessly through various storytelling contents. With this, I tried to assess the possibility of characterizing the folktale-type idiot character for the production of storytelling contents. For that purpose, I analyzed the representative types of Keloğlan's stories and investigated the concrete strength of Keloğlan's figure. The point is that Keloğlan is not defined by any particular criteria. He is an idiot who cannot internalize common norms and common sense. Therefore, his thoughts and actions do not follow a certain pattern. This allowed him to encompass a variety of character types, and accordingly, his stories were transformed into various forms, and each time he met the enjoyers in a new way. In addition, ultimately, by encountering such a “undefined being”, the enjoyers were freed from the notion of the “normal”, which was the driving force behind the transmission of Keloğlan stories and the centrifuge of popular attraction. It was confirmed that it works. Such qualities can be said to be the characteristics of common folklore-type idiots. Therefore, Turkey's Keloğlan will be a representative example that can confirm the possibility of folktale-type idiots in the issue of characterizing to set up competitive storytelling content.