Yaşar Kemal

Yaşar Kemal (born Kemal Sadık Gökçeli 1923) is one of Turkey's leading writers. [cite news| url=http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/archives.php?id=2229| title=French pay tribute to Yasar Kemal | work=Turkish Daily News |accessdate=2008-04-04|date=1997-03-06|first=Nazlan|last=Ertan] [cite news|url=http://www.lemonde.fr/cgi-bin/ACHATS/acheter.cgi?offre=ARCHIVES&type_item=ART_ARCH_30J&objet_id=251930
title=Yachar Kemal, conteur et imprécateur
work=Le Monde
] He has long been a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, on the strength of "Memed, My Hawk". [cite news| url=http://hurarsiv.hurriyet.com.tr/goster/haber.aspx?id=5621617&tarih=2007-07-02| title=Ölene kadar Nobel adayı olacağım|accessdate=2008-04-04|date=2007-07-02|work=Hurriyet|language=Turkish]


He was born in Hemite (now Gökçedam), a hamlet in the province of Osmaniye in southern Turkey. His parents were poor Kurds from Van, who came into Çukurova during the First World War. [cite news |title=Türk'ün Türk'ten başka dostu var! |url=http://www.radikal.com.tr/haber.php?haberno=210009 |work=Radikal |date=2007-01-14|language=Turkish] Kemal had a difficult childhood because he lost his right eye due to a knife accident, when his father was slaughtering a sheep on Eid al-Adha, and had to witness as his father was stabbed to death by his adoptive son Yusuf while praying in a mosque when he was five years old. This traumatic experience left Kemal with a speech impediment, which lasted until he was twelve years old. At nine he started school in a neighboring village and continued his formal education in Kadirli, Osmaniye Province.

According to a book-length epistolary interview, ["Yachar Kemal, entretiens avec Alain Bosquet", trans. by Eugene Lyons Hébert and Barry Tharaud as "Yasar Kemal on his life and art", Syracuse 1999 pn] before he started school, Kemal was a locally noted bard, but was unappreciated by his widowed mother until he composed an elegy on the death of one of her eight brothers, all bandits. However, he forgot it and became interested in literacy as a means to record his work when he questioned an itinerant peddler, who was doing his accounts. Ultimately, his village paid his way to university in Istanbul.

In his colorful account, he worked for a while for rich farmers, guarding their river water against other farmers' unauthorized irrigation. However, instead he taught the poor farmers how to steal the water undetected, by taking it at night.

Later he worked as a letter-writer, then as a journalist, and finally as a novelist. He claims that the Turkish police took his first two novels. He claims to have recreated Turkish as a literary language, by bringing in the vernacular, following Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's sterilization of Turkish by removing Ottoman (Persian and Arabic) elements. As an outspoken intellectual, he does not hesitate to speak on sensitive issues such as the plight of the Kurds in Southeastern Turkey.


In 1952, Yaşar Kemal married Thilda Serrero, [cite encyclopedia
encyclopedia=International Who's Who of Authors and Writers
title=KEMAL, Yashar
author=Taylor & Francis Group
editor=Elizabeth Sleeman
] a member of a prominent Sephardi Jewish family in Istanbul. Her grandfather, Jak Mandil Pasha, was the chief physician of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. [cite news
title=Thilda Kemal: The Graceful Voice of an Eternal Ballad
work=Turkish Daily News
] She translated 17 of her husband’s works into English language. Thilda died on January 17, 2001 (aged 78) from pulmonary complications at a hospital in Istanbul, and was laid to rest at Zincirlikuyu Cemetery. Thilda is survived by her hushand, her son Raşit and a grandchild.cite news
title=Thilda Kemal, wife and translator of novelist Yasar Kemal, dies
work=Turkish Daily News

Yaşar Kemal remarried on August 1, 2002 with then 54-year-old Ayşe Semiha Baban, a lecturer for public relations at Bilgi University in Istanbul. She was educated at the American University of Beirut, Bosphorus University and Harvard University. [cite news
title=Yaşar Kemal evlendi


He published his first book "Ağıtlar" ("Ballads") in 1943, which was a compilation of folkloric themes. This book brings to light many long forgotten rhymes and ballads and Kemal had started to collect these ballads at the age of 16. [http://www.yasarkemal.net/eng/bio/index.html Yaşar Kemal - YKY ] ] His first stories "Bebek" ("The Baby"), "Dükkancı" ("The Shopkeeper"), "Memet ile Memet" ("Memet and Memet") were published in 1950. He had written his first story "Pis Hikaye" ("The Dirty Story") in 1944, while he was serving in the military, in Kayseri. Then he published his book of short stories "Sarı Sıcak" ("Yellow Heat") in 1952. The initial point of his works was the toil of the people of the Çukurova plains and he based the themes of his writings on the lives and sufferings of these people. Yaşar Kemal has used the legends and stories of Anatolia extensively as the basis of his works.

He received international acclaim with the publication of "İnce Memed" ("Memed, My Hawk") in 1955. In "İnce Memed", Yaşar Kemal criticizes the fabric of the society through a legendary hero, a protagonist, who flees to the mountains as a result of the oppression of the Aghas. One of the most famous living writers in Turkey, Kemal is noted for his command of the language and lyrical description of bucolic Turkish life. He has been awarded 19 literary prizes so far and nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973.

His 1955 novel "Teneke" was adapted into a theatrical play, which was staged for almost one year in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the country where he lived for about two years in the late 1970s. [cite news
title=Yaşar Kemal’in Teneke’si İtalyanca opera
] Italian composer Fabio Vacchi adapted the same novel with the original title into an opera of three acts, which premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano, Italy in 2007.


*"Sarı Sıcak", ("Yellow Heat") (1952)

*"İnce Memed" ("Memed, My Hawk") (1955)
*"Teneke" ("The Drumming-Out") (1955)
*"Orta Direk" ("The Wind from the Plain") (1960)
*"Yer Demir Gök Bakır" ("Iron Earth, Copper Sky") (1963)
*"Ölmez Otu" ("The Undying Grass") (1968)
*"Akçasazın Ağaları/Demirciler Çarşısı Cinayeti" ("The Agas of Akchasaz Trilogy"/"Murder in the Ironsmiths Market") (1974)
*"Akçasazın Ağaları/Yusufcuk Yusuf" ("The Agas of Akchasaz Trilogy"/"Yusuf, Little Yusuf") (1975)
*"Yılanı Öldürseler" ("To Crush the Serpent") (1976)
*"Al Gözüm Seyreyle Salih" ("The Saga of a Seagull") (1976)
*"Allahın Askerleri" ("God’s Soldiers") (1978)
*"Kuşlar da Gitti" ("The Birds Have Also Gone: Long Stories") (1978)
*"Deniz Küstü" ("The Sea-Crossed Fisherman") (1978)
*"Hüyükteki Nar Ağacı" ("The Pomegranate on the Knoll") (1982)
*"Yağmurcuk Kuşu/Kimsecik I" ("Kimsecik I - Little Nobody I") (1980)
*"Kale Kapısı/Kimsecik II" ("Kimsecik II - Little Nobody II")(1985)
*"Kanın Sesi/Kimsecik III" ("Kimsecik III - Little Nobody III") (1991)
*"Fırat Suyu Kan Akıyor Baksana" ("Look, the Euphrates is Flowing with Blood") (1997)
*"Karıncanın Su İçtiği" ("Ant Drinking Water") (2002)
*"Tanyeri Horozları" ("The Cocks of Dawn") (2002)

Epic Novels
*"Üç Anadolu Efsanesi" ("Three Anatolian Legends or Anatolian Tales") (1967)
*"Ağrıdağı Efsanesi" ("The Legend of Mount Ararat") (1970)
*"Binboğalar Efsanesi" ("The Legend of the Thousand Bulls") (1971)
*"Çakırcalı Efe*" ("The Life Stories of the Famous Bandit Çakircali") (1972)

*"Yanan Ormanlarda 50 Gün" ("Fifty Days in the Burning Forests") (1955)
*"Çukurova Yana Yana" ("While Çukurova Burns") (1955)
*"Peribacaları" ("The Fairy Chimneys") (1957)
*"Bu Diyar Baştan Başa" ("Collected reportages") (1971)
*"Bir Bulut Kaynıyor" ("Collected reportages") (1974)

Experimental Works
*"Ağıtlar" ("Ballads") (1943)
*"Taş Çatlasa" ("At Most") (1961)
*"Baldaki Tuz" ("The Salt in the Honey") (1959-74 newspaper articles)
*"Gökyüzü Mavi Kaldı" ("The Sky remained Blue") (collection of folk literature in collaboration with S. Eyüboğlu)
*"Ağacın Çürüğü" ("The Rotting Tree") (Artciles and Speeches) (1980)
*"Yayımlanmamış 10 Ağıt" ("10 Unpublished Ballads") (1985)
*"Sarı Defterdekiler" ("Contents of the Yellow Notebook") (Collected Folkloric works) (1997)
*"Ustadır Arı" ("The Expert Bee") (1995)
*"Zulmün Artsın" ("Increase Your Oppression") (1995)

Children's Books
*"Filler Sultanı ile Kırmızı Sakallı Topal Karınca" ("The Sultan of the Elephants and the Red-Bearded Lame Ant") (1977)

Awards and Distinctions

* "Seven Days in the World's Largest Farm" reportage series, Journalist's Association Prize, 1955
*Varlik Prize for "Ince Memed" ("Memed, My Hawk"), 1956
*Ilhan Iskender Award for the play adapted from his book with the same name, "Teneke" ("The Drumming-Out"), 1966
*The International Nancy Theatre Festival - First Prize for "Teneke" ("The Drumming-Out"), 1966
*Madarli Novel Award for "Demirciler Çarşısı" ("Murder in the Ironsmith's Market"), 1974
*Choix du Syndicat des Critiques Littéraires pour le meilleur roman etranger (Eté/Automne 1977) pour "Terre de Fer, Ciel de Cuivre" ("Yer Demir, Gök Bakır").
* Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger 1978 pour "L'Herbe qui ne meurt pas" ("Ölmez Otu"); Paris, Janvier 1979.
*Prix mondial Cino Del Duca decerné pour contributions a l'humanisme moderne; Paris, Octobre 1982.
* Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur de France; Paris, 1984.
* The Sedat Simavi Foundation Award for Literature; Istanbul, Turkey, 1985.
*Paris, Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, 1988
* Doctor Honoris Causa, Strasbourg University, France, 1991.
* Doctor Honoris Causa, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey, 1992.
* Lillian Hellman/Dashiell Hammett Award for Courage in Response to Repression, Human Rights Watch, USA, 1996.
* Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Frankurt am Main, Germany, 1997.
* Premio Internazionale Nonino for collected works, Italy, 1997
* Bordeaux, Prix Ecureuit de Littérature Etrangère, 1998
* Honorary Doctorate, Bilkent University, 2002
*Z. Homer poetry Award, 2003
*Savanos Prize (Thessalonika-Greece), 2003
*Turkish Publisher's Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003


NAME= Kemal, Yaşar
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Kemal, Yasar; Kemal, Yashar
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Turkish novelist
PLACE OF BIRTH= Gökçedam, Turkey

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yasar Kemal — Yaşar Kemal (* 6. Oktober 1923 als Kemal Sadık Gökçeli im Dorf Hemite (heute Gökçedam) in der Provinz Osmaniye) ist einer der bedeutendsten zeitgenössischen Romanciers der Türkei kurdischer Abstammung. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft, Kindheit und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Yaşar Kemal — (* 6. Oktober 1923 als Kemal Sadık Gökçeli im Dorf Hemite, heute Gökçedam, in der Provinz Osmaniye) ist einer der bedeutendsten zeitgenössischen Romanciers der Türkei. Er ist kurdischer Abstammung. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft, Kindheit und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Yasar Kemal — Yaşar Kemal Yachar Kemal (en turc Yaşar Kemal, de son vrai nom Kemal Sağdıkgöğceli) est un romancier et journaliste turc, d origine kurde, né en 1923 dans le village de Hemite près d Osmaniye en Turquie. Issu d une famille pauvre, il dut… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Yaşar Kemal —   [ja ʃɑr kɛ mɑl], türkischer Schriftsteller, eigentlich Kemal Sadɪk Gökçeli, * Gökçeli (Provinz Adana) 1923; beschäftigte sich in den 1940er Jahren mit folkloristischen Studien und war nach 1951 als Publizist in Istanbul tätig. Seit 1950 war… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Yaşar Kemal — (pseudónimo de Kemal Sadik Gokceli) nacido en 1923 en Hemite, una aldea en la provincia de Adana, sur de Turquía es una renombrada figura de la literatura contemporánea de su país. Procedente de una familia de origen kurdo, a la edad de cinco… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Yasar Kemal — (pseudónimo de Kemal Sadik Gokceli) nacido en 1923 en Hemite, una aldea en la provincia de Adana, sur de Turquía es una de las más renombradas figuras de la literatura contemporánea de su país. Procedente de una familia de origen kurdo, a la edad …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Yasar Kemal — (Kemal Sadik Gökçeli, dit) (né en 1922) écrivain turc, auteur de romans réalistes et épiques: Mémed le Mince (1955), Mémed le Faucon (1969) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Yaşar Kemal — Yachar Kemal (en turc Yaşar Kemal, de son vrai nom Kemal Sağdıkgöğceli) est un romancier et journaliste turc, d origine kurde, né en 1923 dans le village de Hemite près d Osmaniye en Turquie. Issu d une famille pauvre, il dut abandonner ses… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kemal — (Mustafa) dit Kemal Atatürk ( le Père des Turcs ) (1881 1938), homme politique turc. Général, il se distingua durant la guerre de Tripolitaine (1911 1912) et en 1914 1918. Prenant la tête d un mouvement nationaliste, il réunit à Ankara une… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Yaşar — ist ein türkischer männlicher und weiblicher Vorname mit der Bedeutung wird leben. Der Vorname tritt überwiegend bei Männern auf. Der Vorname wird Neugeborenen gegeben, mit dem Wunsch, dass sie lange leben mögen.[1] Bekannte Namensträger Yaşar… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.