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ISF is marking World Storytelling Day with a celebration of the incomparable folk hero, Mulla Nasrudin — and Saira Shah has been in the town of Akşehir in Turkey which claims Nasrudin as its own.

Akşehir’s central park is filled with statues of Nasrdeddin Hodja, as he is known locally, depicting some of his most well-known stories.

And in the town’s graveyard stands none other than — Nasrudin's tomb.

Could this be the actual resting place of the inimitable mulla, and as the town claims, the very centre of the earth?

Or is it all part of an elaborate joke?

Nasrudin Stories

The Story of Science from The Pleasantries Of The Incredible Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah


A scientist and a logician met Nasrudin and wrangled with him as they walked along a road. Nasrudin was hard-pressed. The scientist said: ‘I cannot accept anything as existing unless I carry out a test, or unless I see it with my own eyes.’ The logician said: ‘I cannot attempt anything unless I have worked it out in theory beforehand.’
Suddenly Nasrudin knelt down and started to pour something into a lake beside the road.
‘What are you doing?’ they asked together. ‘You know how yogurt multiplies when you put it into milk? Well, I am adding a little yogurt to this water.’
‘But you can’t make yogurt that way!’
‘I know, I know ... but – just supposing it takes!’