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In this page you can find short information about Turkish authors who are introduced in NEAR E 496/596 B. There are also links to related web-sites. Since we started reading Turkish authors during the third week of the class, links above start with Week 3. There are links also from the syllabus to the author information.

Halide Edip Adivar:

(Istanbul 1884-Istanbul 1964) She graduated from the American College for Girls, Istanbul as the first Turkish woman student in 1901. During the war years, she conducted massive nationalist rallies. She needed to leave Istanbul and joined nationalist forces. After the establishment of the Republic, she was sent to exile, and lived in the USA and India. She published her novel Sinekli Bakkal, which was awarded the first governmental prize, in English with the title Thewn and his Daughter in 1938. She produced 22 novels, memoirs, plays, short stories, and scholarly works.

Halikarnas Balikcisi (aka Cevat Sakir Kabaagac):

(Istanbul 1886-Izmir 1973) The fisherman of Halicarnassus was the son of Sakir Pasha, an ambassador to Greece. He finished Robert College, Istanbul, and sent to Oxford to study history. After his graduation , he returned Istanbul and wrote for newspapers and published caricatures. For writing against the national struggle, in 1924 he was exiled to Bodrum (Halicarnassuss), which was then a remote and small fishermen's village. He started a movement of Anatolianism in Turkey, together with Sabahattin Eyuboglu and Azra Erhat, claiming that all the people who has lived on Anatolia added and enriched the culture of the land, and promoted an amalgam of cultures.

Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu:

(Cairo 1889-Ankara 1974) Moved to Istanbul 19 years old. He left Istanbul and joined the National forces after the occupation of Istanbul in 1918. He served as an ambassador in Tirana, Prague, The Hague and Bern. He was selected to serve in the Constitutional Assembly and sat in Parliament after the May 27, 1960 revolution. His novels draw sketches from the social life of late Ottoman and early Republican Turkey. His characters experience the change country has experienced.

Refik Halit Karay:

(Istanbul 1888-Istanbul 1965) humorist, novelist and memoirist. He started writing humorous political articles when he was 21 years old under the pseudonym "Kirpi". In 1913 he was exiled to the Eastern provinces because of his satirical works. He taught at Robert College in Istanbul. He was sent to exile by the Republican government in 1922, which had lasted until 1938. He lived in Aleppo and Beirut. He wrote on a variety of themes, and in different genres.

Omer Seyfettin:

(Gvnen1884-Istanbul 1920) He had his education in Istanbul and became an officer. He started a purist movement in language, and published the journal Geng Kalemler (Young Pens). He worked as a free-lancejournalist, and high school teacher after the Balkan War. His short stories, which are either tragical accounts of war, or satirical criticism of several sections of the society are still widely read in Turkey today.

Nazim Hikmet [Ran]:

(Salonica 1902-Moscow 1963) His grandfather was the governor of Salonica, his father had been consul at Hamburg. He was enrolled at the Naval Academy, after five years he was given a medical discharge. During the National struggle he went to Anatolia and taught school in Nationalist territory. He went on to Batum in 1921. In 1922 he was accepted into the Department of Economic and Social Studies at the University of Moscow where he remained until 1924. He returned to Istanbul, started working in the journal Resimli Ay. Becasue of a poem he published, Ankara Istiklal Mahkemesi (Independence Tribunal) sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor and exile. He flee to Russia and returned in 1928. He was immediately imprisoned at Hopa border, and sentenced to six years and six months of penal servitude. This sentence was shortened by a year and a half through another amnesty in 1933 on the 10th anniversary of the Republic. He worked in local film studios, wrote scripts. By the decree of the Court of the Military Academy he was sentenced to 15 years for his subversive activities among the its students. The Naval Academy Special Court added a sentence of 20 years for the same offense, which brought the total sentence to 61 years and 6 months. On the accession of Demokrat Parti in 1950, numerous lawyers and intellectuals petitioned to include Nazim Hikmet's name in the political amnesty list. He was released but he needed to flee once more, this time to Rumanis. He spent his last 20 years in Poland, Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. He wrote poetry, plays, film scripts, and novels. Two of his novels are published posthumously.

Fakir Baykurt

(1929 Akgakoy, Burdur) He graduated in 1948 from the Gonen Village Institute. He taught school in various villages, and later sserved as an government inspector for the Ministry of Education. He was President of the Turkish Teachers Union and of the Turkish Teachers Association. Baykurt has served several sentences for political offenses in military and civilian prisons at Ankara. He won several national awards, and his novels have been translated into German. His novel The revenge of the snakes is adapted for stage and screen, and is accepted as one of the best examples of 'village novel' tradition.

Yasar Kemal [Kemal Sadik Gogceli]

(1922 Hemite, Adana) Yasar Kemal worked as a laborer, clerk, and at almost forty jobs before he was thirty. He served a prison stint in Adana for a political offense and after his release he came to Istanbul in 1951 and got a job with the prestigious daily Cumhuriyet. He started writing as a folklorist, and later in 1955, his novelTeneke (Tin box), which as a play won the first prize at the International Theater Festival at Nancy, France, made him a nationally noted writer. And his second novel Ince Memed (see in English Memed My Hawk), which is written as an epic saga of a bandit, made him internationally famous. It is translated into at least twenty-six languages. He is a runner up for Nobel Prize for Literature. He is also politically active. His recent novel Firat Suyu Kan Akiyor Baksana (1998; Hey look, Tigris river flows blood) made two prints within a month in January 1998.

For a brief English biography and list of awards Yasar Kemal won, you may visit:

Mahmut Makal

(1933 Demirci, Nigde) Being one of the first graduates of the Koy Enstituleri (Village Institutes), his anecdotal work on village life and his interpretation of these institutes as a location where city and village life meets each other, titled as Bizim Koy (Our Village) gained him a wide reputation. Graudated from Ivriz Village Institute in 1947, and taught in various village schools for 6 years. He completed his higher education at Gazi Teachers College. He taught Turkish Literature at the University of Venice between 1971 and 1972. He was an inspector for the Ministry of Education until his retirement in 1976.

Kemal Tahir

(1910 Istanbul-1973 Istanbul) He left school at the tenth grade and started working as a lawyer's clerk and later as a stock clerk in a warehouse/ In 1938, he was sentenced with poet Nazim Hikmet to 15 years imprisonment by a naval court martial for "incitement ad encouragement to military rebellion." After the advent of the Democrat regime in 1950, he benefited from a political amnesty. After his release, he wrote fake Mickey Spillane novels to make a living. He founded Dusun Publishing House together with Aziz Nesin, which he administered until its dissolution in 1960. Some of his most effective novels are those describing the change whrought on individual characters by the Nationalist revolution of 1919-1923. He also wrote first historical novels with a thesis in Turkish literature. The publication of his notebooks during 1980s stirred up a new interest in his work.

Bekir Yildiz

(1933 Harran, Urfa) He worked four years in Germany as a worker. Later, he set up the Asia Press on his return home. His criticisms of economic exploitation in his own land and abroad, the first obvious and brutal, the latter more systematic and subtle, carry the authentic ring of personal experience. He is one of the early wirters who told the experiences of first generation of Turkish workers in Germany.

Tahsin Yucel

(1933 Elbistan) A village boy, Tahsin Yucel was awarded a scholarship to Galatasaray French Lycee in Istanbul after he finished elementary school in his native region. After lycee, he entered the French Department at the University of Istanbul, and graduated in 1960. On another scholarship, he went to France, and then returned to his former post at the University of Istanbul, where he was appointed Professor of French Literature. He is a linguistic purist, and a structuralist. He published his theoretical work and criticisms of literature in Turkish and French. His work on Turkish Language Reform is still a highly esteemed work which investigates the theoretical and social basis of the reform.

Haldun Taner [Hasircioglu, Haldun]

(Istanbul 1915-1987) The son of a university professor, Taner studied economics at Heidelberg in 1935. Later he transferred to University of Vienna. After the war started, he returned to Istanbul an studied German Philology at the University of Istanbul where he became an Assistant Professor in 1952. Journalism Department of Istanbul University since 1960. Haldun Taner received a New York Herald International Short Short Story First Prize in 1953, for "Sishane'ye Yagmur Yagiyordu" [It was raining in Sishane]. Later he became predominantly a playwright. He founded Devekusu Kabaresi [Ostrich Cabaret] in 1967, which had an impact on private Turkish theater companies. He also wrote regular articles for newspaper Milliyet. He believed that literature must serve a social function.

Aziz Nesin

(Istanbul 1915-Cesme 1995) Aziz Nesin is one of the most popular Turkish writers of all times. He used to be popular in the former Soviet Republics and Eastern European countries. He graduate from military academy in 1935 as an engineer and served in the army until 1944. He started writing using a woman name as a pseudonym. He was the co-editor of a popular satirical serial publication Marko Pasa, with another Turkish socialist author Sabahattin Ali. Due to an article published in the publication he was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and 13 months exile in 1947. His translation of Pulitzer's Lessons in Marxist Philosophy which would prove to be a very popular read in Turkey for several decades, ended with a 16-month sentence in 1950. He won the Golden Palm International Humorous Short Story Award in Italy two years succesively, in 1956 and1957. In 1966 he received the Golden Hedgehog Award in Bulgaria, the Award of the Soviet Magazine Krokadile in 1969, the Lotus given by the Asian and African Writers Union in Manila 1975,and several other awards followed. He accomplished public service through Nesin Foundation which is established in 1972 for the education and care of homeless or destitute children. His humor and variety of subjects reflected in the form of several short stories and novels. This site has extensive information on Nesin Foundation and Aziz Nesin in English.

Sevgi Soysal

Born in Istanbul. She graduated from the Department of Classical Philology at the University of Ankara and studied archeology and drama in Gottingen, Germany. She worked at various jobs including that of a program organizer for the Turkish Television. Her books are: Passionate Bangs (1962); Tante Rosa (1968); To Walk (1970), which won the Turkish Radio and Television award; Noontime in Yenisehir (1975), which won the 1974 Orhan Kemal novel award; The Dawn (1975); The Child Whose Name is Peace (1976), short stories; Yildirim Area Women's Ward (1976), a book of stories based on her prison experiences. She translated the workd of Bertold Brecht and Max Frisch. She wrote many articles in magazines and newspapers. She spoke against violence and defended the rights of women and children in public meetings. Her untimley death deprived Turkish literature of a brilliant and original writer.

Adalet Agaoglu

Born in 1929 in Nallihan in Ankara Province. She graduated From the Department of French Literature at the University of Ankara, and continued her studies in Paris. She worked in the cultural programs of the Turkish Stata Radio. She first wrote plays. In 1974 she won the Turkish Language Society's drama award. She has published the following: To Lie Down to Die (1973); The Delicate Rose of my Mind (1976); The Wedding Night (1979), which won the 1979 Sedat Simawi prize, the 1980 Orhan Kemal novel award, and the 1980 Madarali novel award; The End of Summer (1980); A Few People (1984); and No...(1987). Collections of her short stories have appeared under the following titles: The High Voltage (1974), which won the 1975 Sait Faik short story award; The First Sound of Silence (1978); and Come On Let's Go (1982). Her other works include a collection of eight plays (1964-1971), published in 1982; a book of memoirs, published in 1985; and a collection of essays, published in 1986. She has also translated works of Sartre, Anouilh and Brecht. Her work has been translated into several languages.


Born in 1935 in Istanbul and uses only her first name. She did not have a conventional education but was an avid reader in her childhood. She wrote poems and stories as a teenager and became a more serious writer after 1968. Furuzan is considered to be one of Turkey's best modern short story writers. Due to her father's death, Furuzan was forced to quit school in the eighth grade in order to work. She presents the plights of her characters without proposing any solutions in a didactic way. She's also known for the strong psychological insights she brings to her characterization. The depiction of the plight of women in her stories arroused great interest. Among her many books are the collections of short stories: Free Boarding School (1971), which won the Sait Faik short story award; No Way Out(1972); and My Own Movies (1973). Her other works include: Those Born in 1947 (1974), a novel which won the Turkish Language Society Prize in 1975; The Other Face of the Night (1982), a novel; andThe New Guests (1977), a reportage about the Turkish workers in Germany. Her works have been translated into German, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Arabic, and Persian.

Tezer Ozlu

(1943-1986) She graduated from the Austrian High School in Istanbul. Her books are: The Old Garden (1978); Chilly Nights of Childhood (1980); The Voyage to the End of Life (1982), first published in German under the title Auf dem Spur eines Selbstmords in 1982, which received the 1982 Marburg Literary prize; and The Old Love (1987), which includes her early writings from the 1960's. In 1982 she was in West Berlin as a guest writer in a cultural exchange program. She published articles in Germany, Holland and Austria about Turkish literature. She translated the workd of Kafka, Heinrich, Boll, and Ingmar Bergman into Turkish.

Tomris Uyar

Born in 1941 in Istanbul. She studies att eh American College for Girls and graduated from the School of Journalism of Istanbul University. She has been publishing her work (short stories, essays, criticism and translations) since the mid-1960's. She has translated mostly from English, North American and Latin American writers. Her short stories are published under the following titles: Silk and Copper (1971); Settling the Accounts (1973); Daisies Knee High (1975); The Shackled Heart (1979), which received the 1980 Sait Faik short story award; Dreams of Summer, Writers of Dream (1981); Girls Who Travel at Night (1983); Voyage into Summer (1986), which received the 1987 Sait Faik award. She published parts of her diary (The Daily Account), which she has been writing since 1975. Her translation of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura, in collaboration with her late husband, the poet Turgut Uyar, won the 1975 translation award.

Nazli Eray

Born in 1945 in Ankara. She graduated from the American College for Girls, and had her first short story published at sixteen. She studied law and philosophy at the University of Istanbul. She attended the International Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. Her short story collections are: Oh, Mister, Oh! (1976); I Met the Night (1980); Pacific Days (1981); The Girl-Kissing Line (1982); Orphee (1983); The Ready-World (1983); I Met the Night-Erostratus (1985); Monday on the Seashore (1985); The Old Fragments of Night (1986); and Tales Passing by the Road (1987), which received the 1988 Haldun Taner prize.

Latife Tekin

Born in 1957 in the village of Karacafenk in the province of Kayseri. She absorbed the rich folklore of her village before she moved to Istanbul in 1966 with her large family. Of the seven children in her family she was the only one to finish high school. She struggled to adjust to life in a shantytown in the city; she also tried to keep alive the memories of her village, its special language and her love for the people there. Her writings are the tales of this struggle. Her books are: Dear Shameless Death (1983); Berci Kristin Tales of Garbage (1984); and Night Classes (1986).

Murathan Mungan

Born in 1955 in Istanbul. He spent his early youth in Mardin. He holds a master's degree in Theater from Ankara University. Mungan currently lives in Istanbul. He published novels, poetry, plays, screenplays, essays, film and theater criticism, and political columns. His porse works include Last Istanbul (Son Istanbul), Battle stories (Cenk hikayeleri), Forty rooms (Kirk Oda), Ruby Tales (Lal Masallari), Beyond the Mount Kaf (Kaf daginin ote yuzu), and Mesopotamian Trilogy is among his dramatic works. He is the author of ten books of poetry and five collections of short stories. [The works included in the class reading list are from different short story books].

Bilge Karasu

(Istanbul 1930-Ankara 1995) Upon receiving his degree in Philosophy from the College of Literature in Istanbul University, he worked at the National Office of Publications and the Foreign Correspondence division of Ankara Radio. He held a Rockefeller Grant from 1962 to 1963, and, in 1974, he assumed a faculty position at Hacettepe University in Ankara. Karasu's translation of D. H. Lawrence's The man who died won the Turkish Language Association's translation award. Among his works are Death in Troy (Troya'da olum vardi; 1963), A long day's evening (Uzun suren bir gunun aksaminda; 1970), The garden of passed-away cats (Olmus kediler bahcesi 1979), The kiosk of fortune (Kismet bufesi 1982), and The guide (Klavuz 1992). In 1991, his novel, Night [Louisiana State University Press] (Gece), won the international Pegasus Award.

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