Turkey Ilhan Berk

Turkey Literature


Never as in recent years has Turkish literature been influenced by external events. This appears all the more true if we consider that substantial changes occurred at the beginning of each decade, coinciding with military interventions in politics, namely in 1960, 1971 and 1980. Thus we see that following the coup in 1960 capitalism was definitively affirmed with all its rules, and this led to an unbalanced economic development that created vast areas of marginalization; the increased supply of education and the circulation of translations of works of world literature made the new generations aware of the cultural and political movements that were stirring in the West: existentialist thought, nonsense, the alienation of modern man, his loneliness characterized the works of an entire generation of writers. On the other hand, many engaged in the social and political fields and denounced the peasant and urban life conditions of various social groups; in addition to the exploitation of rural areas, the living conditions of the young proletariat were described, while women also became the protagonists of social protest. Following the coup of 1971 there was a radicalization of the political struggle, which led to widespread pessimism and individualism, and finally, after the coup of 1980, parallel to the efforts made to depoliticize the socio-cultural life of the country, we witnessed a withdrawing into oneself which was expressed in an exasperating symbolic language made up of obscure allusive references, incomprehensible to most. On the other hand, the new state ideology was established, which sought to reconcile heated nationalism with the Islamic religious sentiments of the masses. Literature was affected by the fact that for the first time the role of the intellectual, who had always been invested with the mission of working to promote the spiritual and material advancement of the people, was questioned.

Among the writers who have strengthened their fame, the figure of Yaçsar Kemal still stands out, who, in addition to continuing the story of Ince Mehmed, publishing four volumes to date, felt the need to set some of his works no longer in ÇCukurova but to Istanbul or village: so Allahın askerleri (“soldiers of Allah”, 1981), the first part of a kind of reportage on the world of children entitled ÇCocuklar insandır (“children are human beings”); Deniz küstü (“The sea has irritated”, 1979), set in the world of fishermen; Kuçslar from gitti (“Even the birds are gone”, 1978), in which the fate of the dispossessed is compared to that of birds, captured and then sold in front of churches, synagogues, mosques. Characteristics peculiar to the in-depth psychological analysis of the characters show the two novels of the Kimsecik series (“None”): Yağmurcuk Kuçsu (“Charadrius fluvialis”, 1984) and Kale Kapısı (“The door of the fortress”, 1985).

Within the sphere of social realism, Kemal Bilbaçsar, Samin Kocagöz, Orhan Hanęrlioğlu, Talip Apaydın, Fakir Baykurt have continued to operate with works of various breadth. The prose works of Reçsat Enis (b. 1909), Ilhan Tarus (1907-1967), Sunullah Arısoy (b. 1925) are inspired by the same theme. Intimate tendencies have writers such as Nezihe Meriç (b.1925), Ferit Edgü (b.1936), Onat Kutlar (b.1936), Erdal Öz (b.1935), Selim Ileri (b.1949) and Füruzan (b.1935)), recently devoted to the problems of Turkish emigration to Germany, of which two short novels have been translated into Italian (from Kuçsatma, 1972: Tokat is in a vineyard and L’accerchiamento, 1991), Nedim Gürsel (b.1951), whose Kadınlar kitabı (1986) has been translated into Italian (La prima donna, 1989). Aziz Nesin (d. 1995) continued his political commitment and his activity as a flogger of costumes, with works in both prose and poetry. The writer Latife Tekin enjoys great fame, whose novel Sevgili arsız ölüm, published in 1983 (transl., Cara shameless death, 1988), was declared a ” magical ” event by the press of the time above all for the narrative technique that broke structural conventions to rely on the orality typical of Anatolian women and the rural world, in which the fantastic element predominates. In order to overcome social realism and political commitment, the literary activity of Orhan Pamuk (b.1952) arises, who made his debut in Italy with the translation of the novel Beyaz Kale (1985; trad. It., Roccalba, 1992).

There have been various attempts to give vigor to poetry and make it an ideal renewal center. The movement of the Mavici, poets gathered around the magazine Mavi (“Azzurro”) led by Atillâ Ilhan (b. 1925), set out to search for the poetic means suitable for “representing the intimate essence of the human problem”; the Ikinci Yeni (“Second New”) movement included important poets.

These include Ilhan Berk (b.1916), Cemal Süreyyâ (b.1931), Turgut Uyar (b.1927), Edip Cansever (b.1928), Sezai Karakoç (b.1933), Oktay Rifat (b.1914), which tended towards hermeticism, abstractionism, symbolism, believing that true poetry was that which “everyone interprets at will”; the Hisarcılar, poets linked to the Hisar magazine, published until 1980, including Mehmet ÇCınarlı (b.1925), Ilhan Geęr (b.1917), Gültekin Samanoğlu (Samancı) (b.1927), Mustafa Necati Karaer (b.1929), Nevzat Yalçın (b.1926), Yavuz Bülent Bakiler (b.1936), Yahya Akengin (b.1946), intended to react to fashions and the growing westernization of Turkish poetry, reaffirming the values ​​of tradition, the only one capable of giving vigor and substance to the ” new ”, and declaring the independence of art from any ideology. For Turkey 2007, please check extrareference.com.

Many poets have looked at everyday reality and problems and engaged in a sort of social realism, such as Necati Cumalı (b.1921), already an established novelist and short story writer, interested in the man who lives the critical moments of history (Aç güneçs, ” Hungry Sun”, 1980; Bozkırda bir atlı, “A horseman in the steppe”, 1981). Important is the production of Melih Cevdet Anday (b. 1915), who went through various experiences to arrive at an intellectualism and cerebralism that is difficult to understand (Tanıdık dünya, “The known world”, 1984; Güneşte, “In the sun”, 1989); and that of Ömer Edip Cansever (1928-1986; Bezik oynayan kadınlar, ” Oteller Kenti, “The city of hotels”, 1985), by Cahit Külebi (b. 1917; Bütün şiirleri, “All his poems”, 1982-83; trad. It., An ordinary man. Selected poems, 1986) and by Ümit Yaçsar Oğuzcan (1926-1985; Yalan bitti, “The lie is over”, 1975; Dikiz aynası, “Rearview mirror”, 1982). Active is still Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca.

The theatrical production was very varied and saw authors such as Orhan Asena (1922) definitively assert themselves with works such as Ölü kentin nabzı (“The pulse of the dead city”, 1978), Yıldız yargılanması (“The judgment of Yïldïz”, 1991), Turgut Özakman (b. 1930) with themes taken from Ottoman history (Fehim Paşa Konağı, “The palace of Fehim Pasha”, 1980; Resimli Osmanlı Tarihi, “The illustrated Ottoman history”, 1983; Bir şehnaz oyun, “A musical comedy”, 1984), Güngör Dilmen (b. 1930) with works related to the Anatolian and mythological world (Ak tanrïlar, “The white gods”, 1975; Deli Dumrul, 1979; Insan ve devlet, “Man and the State”, 1984). Adalet Agaoğlu (1929), well-known narrator, has written plays in which she deals with particularly current social and human problems, as in Üç Oyun (“Three Comedies”, 1973) and Kendini yazan Şarkı (“The song that writes itself”, 1976); Nâzim Kur ş unlu (1911-1980), O. Zeki Özturanlı (1926-1982), Sedat Veyis Örnek (1928-1980), Hidayet Sayın (b.1929) have devoted themselves to themes that refer to the so-called ” literature of village”. There are numerous authors who have looked at Ottoman history; among these the most famous is A. Turan Oflazoğlu (b. 1932) with works such as IV. Murad (“Murad iv “, 1970), Kösem Sultan (“(Bizans düştü, “The Conqueror. Byzantium has fallen”, 1981), III. Selim (“Selim iii “, 1983), Sinan (1988).

Turkey Ilhan Berk