Başınız sağolsun: A Turkish idiom in honor of the Soma disaster’s anniversary


Relatives praying at the Soma cemetery – after the Soma mining disaster in 2014 (Image from CNN)

Last year was witness to the worst mining disaster in Turkish history…as we drove through the town of Soma last June, the memorial to the miners stood tall.

Black banners and flags flew off of a number of the terraces in the choc-a-bloc apartment buildings, and I imagined sad children and even sadder widows inside.

The little chorus of dancing lady puppets who inhabit my purse, well, they shivered and huddled together.  They are all orphans themselves, you see, sold to the Ottoman court as dancers years ago, so they know what it is to feel a deep sense of loss and sadness, and the madness that can come with it.

In honor of the people who died in the Soma disaster last year, this post introduces a Turkish idiom that the widows and children of the Soma miners may have heard a lot as of late – “başınız sağolsun.”

This idiom literally translates as “may your head be healthy.” Shared with people who have lost one of their relatives or friends, it is meant to offer condolences and wish wellbeing.

So, “Bu elim kazada sevdiklerini kaybeden tüm vatandaşlarımızın başı sağ olsun” or “May the heads of all our citizens who lost their close ones in this deplorable accident be healthy.”

So, may all of our heads be healthy today, but let us not forget.

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This entry was posted in Turkish Controversies, Turkish destinations, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Başınız sağolsun: A Turkish idiom in honor of the Soma disaster’s anniversary

  1. Good to hear from you, and also to hear that you will be in Turkey this summer – may it be a healing and restoring time-

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