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Mehemmed Ghazali
(? - 1535) Turkey

Mehemmed Ghazali

Sufi writer

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Ottoman erotic literature imitates Arabic and Persian. Most of it was composed for sultans and other dignitaries and frequently stresses the therapeutic value of pederasty. Most of this literature is tasteless and boring. The one major exception is the work of Mehemmed Ghazali, known as Deli Birader or "Stupid Brother."

Born in Bursa, Turkey, in the send half of the fifteeenth century, where he became professor of Sufism, Ghazali joined the court of Crown Prince Qorqud, son of Sultan Bayezid II, in Manisa near the Aegean coast of Turkey.

While at the court, Ghazali produced a pornographic allegorical work entitled The Repellers of Troubles and the Removers of Anxieties, which consisted of a mixture of prose and poetry. The topic of this text is sex, with a section devoted to depictions of the battle between boy-lovers and women-lovers in which the boy-lovers win. Praises are also sung for the anus as a source of pleasure.

The book was not well received though Ghazali stayed at the court until 1512, when he returned to Bursa. Subsequently he moved to Istanbul where he built a compund containing a mosque, a garden, a convent, and a bath-house, which he turned into a pleasure house. The heavy traffic of boys made the neighbors uncomfortable, and city officials finally destroyed the compound.

Ghazali resurfaced in Mecca where he rebuilt his compund but little else is known about his later life.

The main topic of The Repeller of Troubles and the Remover of Anxieties is sex. Two of the seven chapters in Ghazali's work extol homosexual anal intercourse. One of the poems extols the therapeutic value of intercourse, especially for gay men, for whom God created the anus to provide immeasurable pleasure. The second chapter contains the description of a contest between boy-lovers and woman-lovers, which at one point turns into a bloody battle.

"When the boy-lovers heard the woman-lovers disparage the asshole they gathered in flocks from near and far," and the conflict rages on, with penises as standards and testicles as maces. Needless to say, the boy-lovers carry the day! At the end of the contest, the leader of the woman-lovers is overcome and converts to the other camp.

The account of the contest ends with a praise of the anus: "Sometimes it opens up like a thousand roses and laughs, sometimes it closes like a rosebud and falls silent . . . ."

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Source: Gabriele Griffin, Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay and Writing, Routledge, London, 2002 - et alii

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