All About Turkey

Turkish writers and poets 1


Tevfik Fikret (1867 - 1915)

Great Turkish Poet during the Ottoman period. His real personality in poetry emerged when he became the literary editor of the "Servet-i Fünun" journal. Fikret, while at first writing romantic lyrical poems, made a sharp turn towards social issues after 1908 and the acceptance of the Constitution. His poems called "Sis" (Fog) and "Bir lahza-i Teehhür" tell us about the repressive regime of the Abdülhamit days. "Tarih-i Kadim" on the other hand is constructed with lines which tell about religious pressures and a wish to destroy reactionary attitudes.

After the establishment of the constitutional system in Ottoman Government, he published the paper "Tanin" with another famous journalist Hüseyin Cahit. His poem "Sis" was published in its first issue. He published "Haluk'un Cevabi" (Haluk's Answer) in 1911, which was followed by "Sermin". He also published a magazine for children called "‹mit ve Azim". Fikret who was an outspoken person instantly revolting against injustice, died on August 19, 1915. His grave is at Asiyan on the Bosphorus (Istanbul). His home is now a museum and a Tevfik Fikret Association is also established. His poetry is collected in a volume titled "Rübab-i Sikeste".

Yunus Emre (1238 - 1320)

One of the greatest and the deepest poets of the Turkish folk literature. Yunus Emre is a great poet who managed to turn the Anatolian dialect into a language of literature and who succeeded in reciting poetry and chanting hymns in pure Turkish. He has written about issues which looked extremely complex.

Written in a pure and easily understood Turkish, some of his poems, which seem to be over simple at first glance, carry a deep meaning and have a certain quality which grips the reader and excites him, weaving a special magic. Yunus in most of his poems declares his great love for the God. He has felt the elusive excitements of the love of God and also made others to feel it.

In Cesme (Izmir) every year there is an international song festival dedicated to him.

Asik Veysel (1894 - 1973)

Asik Veysel (Veysel Satiroglu) is among the minstrels of the Republican era. Born in the Sivrialan village of Sarkisla (district of Sivas), he lost his sight at the age of 7 during a smallpox epidemic. He developed his talents as he got familiar with the broken saz (string instrument) given to him by his father to keep him entertained, and as he listen to the wandering minstrels visiting Sivrialan. When both his mother and father died in 1920, he was left alone with his saz and the children of his elder brother. He gained recognition after 1931. He reached Ankara for the 10th year anniversary of the Republic established by Atatürk after traveling on foot for three months. He traveled around the country, reciting his poetry and playing his saz. He was a teacher of folk songs at various village institutes.

All poems of Asik Veysel were collected by ‹mit Yasar Oguzcan and published with the title "Let the Friends Remember Me" (1970). A book of collected works edited by –. Y. Oguzcan was also published in 1973 which includes his biography and articles written about him and his poetry.

Sinasi (1826 - 1871)

The first great Turkish journalist, and the distinguished name of Tanzimat literature of the Ottoman period. He started to work as the editor of the newspaper "Tercüman-i Ahval" in 1860. Sinasi who presented his progressive ideas in a western style at the first privately owned paper of Turkey, is also the first editorial writer of this country.

His play, "Sair Evlenmesi", which is considered the first significant step of the Turkish theater, was also published in this paper.

He started to publish another paper called "Tasvir-i Efkar" on June 28, 1862. With it he has given the most progressive and the best example of journalism for those times, where he touched upon every social problem. He collected his poems in a volume titled "Müntehabat-i Es'ar". Another volume called "Durub-i Emsal" is the first book of proverbs published in this country, which was true to appropriate form.

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