Puppets, meaning “baby” in Turkish, are one of the oldest forms of entertainment, and have been found in Anatolia under different names such as korcak, kudurcuk, kaburcuk, kogurcak, kaurcak, lubet etc. Puppet shows “Korkolcak” and “Cadir Hayal” (puppet with ropes) are also known by the same names in Central Asia, which is therefore believed to be the origin of the whole tradition.
Puppet shows can be seen in many Turkish communities, and have their own basic techniques. They have been performed in Turkish cities since the 17th century, and are generally known as “bebek, cömce, gelin or karacor” in villages. The puppet show a play of movement and considerable volume that takes its topics from daily life and literary stories. It has been performed since the 14th century. The main characters of the play are “Ibis” and “the old man.” While Ibis is cunning and good at making quick replies, the old man is wise and wealthy.
The art of puppetry, which consists of different elements such as puppets with rope, hand puppets, car puppets and chair puppets, has lost much of its importance since the 19th century. Only a few artists worked to keep this art alive in the republican period. Today, Ihsan Dizdar, Selim Basegmez, M. Tahir Ikiler, Haluk Yüce and Duygu Tansi are still working to perpetuate the art.