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Esendal, Memduh Şevket

(838 words)

Author(s): Kerslake, Celia
Memduh Şevket (Memdūḥ Şevket) Esendal (1884–1952) was a Turkish politician, diplomat, and short-story writer. He was born in Çorlu, some 120 kilometres west of Istanbul, where his family owned farm land. The information available about his education is patchy and contradictory. He himself claimed never to have graduated from any school and asserted that he owed nothing to his teachers. He joined the Union and Progress movement (İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti/İttiḥād ve Teraqqī Cemʿiyyeti) in 1906 and was a prominent party official throughout the period of U…
Date: 2019-03-21

İlhan, Attila

(1,202 words)

Author(s): Kerslake, Celia
Attila İlhan (1925–2005), a major Turkish poet, novelist, and intellectual, was born in Menemen (a town north of Izmir, in present-day Turkey), where his father had been appointed public prosecutor and married into a local merchant family. Most of İlhan’s education took place in Izmir, but his father’s appointments to district governorships (kaymakamlık) caused occasional interruptions in his schooling and gave him some experience of life in different parts of Anatolia. In 1941, while a pupil at Izmir’s Atatürk Lisesi (Atatürk Secondary School), …
Date: 2019-02-20

Edebiyat-ı Cedide

(955 words)

Author(s): Kerslake, Celia
Edebiyat-ı Cedide (Edebiyyāt-ı Cedīde, “New Literature”) is one of two names given to a movement in Turkish literature that flourished briefly but intensely in Istanbul in the years 1313–9/1896–1901. The name that became more widely used is that of the journal which, during the years in question, became the organ of the movement, Servet-i Fünun ( Thervet-i Fünūn, “Wealth of Sciences”). The term edebiyat-ı cedide had already been in more general use since the 1870s to designate European-inspired Ottoman literature as opposed to works written within the traditional parameters. The doz…
Date: 2019-03-21

Cemal Süreya

(772 words)

Author(s): Kerslake, Celia
Cemal Süreya (1931–1990), a major Turkish poet and essayist, whose official name was Cemalettin Seber, was born in Erzincan (in present-day northeastern Turkey). His family was exiled to Bilecik (in northwestern Turkey) in the mass deportations following the Dersim rebellion of 1937, and his mother died soon afterwards. During teenage years marred by an abusive stepmother, Cemalettin was educated as a free boarder at Haydarpaşa Lisesi (secondary school) in Istanbul. He then studied finance and ec…
Date: 2019-03-21

Berkand, Muazzez Tahsin

(490 words)

Author(s): Kerslake, Celia
Muazzez Tahsin Berkand (Muʿazzez Taḥsīn, 1899-1984), a Turkish writer of popular romantic novels, was born into a professional family in Thessaloniki (Selānīk), where her father was a lawyer. After the loss of Thessaloniki in the Balkan Wars (1912) the family moved to Istanbul, where Muazzez Tahsin was educated at Feyziye (Feyḍiyye) Lisesi (Feyziye Secondary School) and a French convent school, and also received private lessons in French and English. After graduating from the Darülmuallimat (Dārü’…
Date: 2019-03-21