The stories are such as may be heard daily in the purlieus of Stamboul, in the small rickety houses of that essentially Turkish quarter of Constantinople where around the tandir the native women relate them to their children and friends.
These tales are by no means identical with, nor do they even resemble, those others that have been assimilated by the European consciousness from Indian sources and the "ARABIAN NIGHTS." All real Turkish fairy tales are quite independent of those; rather are they related to the Western type so far as their contents and structure are concerned.
Indeed, they may only be placed in the category of Oriental tales in that they are permeated with the cult of Islam and that their characters are Moslems.
The kaftan encircling their bodies, the turban on their heads, and the slippers on their feet, all proclaim their Eastern origin. Their heroic deeds, their struggles and triumphs, are mostly such as may be found in the folklore of any European people. It is but natural that pagan superstition, inseparable from the ignorant, should be always cropping up in these stories. Like all real folklore they are not for children, though it is the children who are most strongly attracted by them, and after the children the women. They are mostly woven from the webs of fancy in that delectable realm, Fairyland; since it is there that everything wonderful happens, the dramatis person being as a rule supernatural beings.