Esmeray - 13,5

For more background on Esmeray and the context of the song, see this article by Kornelia Binicewicz

For more background on the Afro-Turk community, see this podcast with Michael Ferguson

English translation:

Verse 1

Children singing a rhyme: "It's raining, it's pouring / the Arab girl is looking from the window"

That "Arab" woman is me
(here Arab in Turkish signifies a black or dark-skinned person)
Curly haired, red lipped
Beady eyes, pearly-white teeth
A dark fate is written on my forehead
(meaning she is unfortunate, referring to the fact that she is destined to suffer maltreatment simply because of how she looks)


Kids get scared and run away
They pinch themselves and say 13 and a half (on üç buçuk)
(this refers to a superstitious reaction to something bad or ominous, somewhat analogous to saying "knock on wood" in English)
So what if my color is dark
What matters is that my heart is not dark

Verse 2

"Oh no mommy, a boogie monster is coming"
If not a monster, then an "Arab" woman
That "Arab" woman has no right to live comfortably
She has no right to carry a heart
(this implies people don't think of her as human)

Esmeray - 13,5

Yağmur yağıyor, seller akıyor
Arap kızı camdan bakıyor

İşte benim Arap bacı
Saçlar kıvır kıvır, dudaklar kırmızı
Gözler boncuk boncuk, dişler inci dizi
Alnıma yazılmış bir kara yazı

Korkar kaçar çoluk çocuk
Bir çimdik 13,5
Rengim kara olsun varsın
Yeter ki kalbim kara olmasın

Anneciğim aman, geliyor öcü
Öcü değilse, Arap bacı
Bacının hakkı yok rahat yaşamaya
Bacının hakkı yok kalp taşımaya

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