Having been shown in the oral traditions of the majority of the Turkish people (Turks, Turkmen, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Bashgirts, Tatars, Garagalpaks, Azeri turks and so on) “Koroglu” epos has been spread over from Tuna to the Balkans, from Siberia to Syria. According to the scale of spreading, volume and popularity “Koroglu” epos is the unique, that it has more than 500 variants and versions.
At the first time the “Koroglu” epos has been published in 1887 in Turkey. After this 15 pages’ publication Koroglu, periods and historical events of that time had been investigated. A little bit before some parts of the “Koroglu” epos had been published in Istanbul in armenian alphabet. In 1897 the parts “Giziroglu Mustafa bey” and “Bolu bey”, telling by Ashug Cemali, had been published in Tbilisi.
In Azerbaijan the first publication of the “Koroglu” epos had been organized in 1913 by Rza Zaki in the “Orucov brothers” public house. The title page of this prose publication had been written in Persian. In 1941 H.Alizadeh had published the most perfect and richest with qoshmas (a form of an Azerbaijani poem) variant of the epos consisting of 14 parts.
Many times the “Koroglu” epos had been published in the Middle Asia. These versions had been published imperfectly. Especially as uzbek Koroglu had demonstrated the hero of some periods, so each period had been represented in separate epos. Lately in Azerbaijan some parts of the “Koroglu” epos had been collected and published: the parts of “Hero Koroglu`s meeting with giants”, “Koroglu`s visit to Tehran”, “The stealing of misri (magical, sharp) sword”, “Ms. Marjan`s coming to Chenlibel”, “Ms. Zarnishan`s coming to Chenlibel”, “White-haired lamb”.
A short publication history of the “Koroglu” epos shows that it has been very famous from the beginning of the XIX century till the nowadays and became the richest epos with its variants. But its English, French and the first Russian variants are full of mistakes. These publications have many defects from the folklore point of view: prose parts in stead of poems, free translation, misplaced additions. It is pity to say that the publications in the Azerbaijan language are not in the desirable form too.
PHD Ahmad Shahidov