“KUT-ALP”: The Ultimate End of Enlightenment
(60th Meeting of the PIAC, Székesfehérvár 2017)
The common symbols which represent the spirit of both Turkish history and culture were brought about beginning from as early as the eighth century uninterruptedly to the present day, over a far reaching area from the Manchurian Sea to the Danube River. These symbols have an enlightened union with one another in a metaphysical background. This unity was preserved for centuries by the Turkish Hakans who had taken on these motifs as a symbol of their own identity, passing them down from generation to generation. This is a chain of enlightenment in Turkish symbols and this chain has gained universality in time and space. These symbols, which are the basic foundations of Turkish cultural history, are connected to each other by two key motifs: ‘böke‘ and ‘kut-power‘ motifs. These two key motifs along with the ‘life in water’, ‘the wolf-tiger’, ‘the deer (mature-deer)’, ‘the bull-camel’, ‘the eagle’ and finally the ‘kut-alp’ motif are connected to each other by a deep bond in the metaphysical background.
This bond created together by the concrete visuals of art history as a scenario on a metaphorical curtain, the legends of cultural history as the light behind the scenario along with the interpretations of cognitive psychology as the source or causal agent is located in the nation’s memory. In this paper, we will examine the “Kut-Alp” motif, which is the last link of the metaphysical chain of Turkish symbols, namely enlightenment, with the metaphysical background through concrete examples. In doing so, we will briefly explain the relationship of the Kut-Alp motif to other motifs in the chain of enlightenment of Turkish symbols.