YUNUS EMRE (1238 – 1320)Yunus Emre was aTurkish poet and Sufi mystic. He has exercised immense influence onTurkish literature, from his own day until the present. BecauseYunus Emre is, after AhmetYesevi and SultanVeled, one of the first knownTurkish poets to have composed works in thespokenTurkish of his own age and region rather than in Persian or Arabic, his diction remainsvery close to the popular speech of his contemporaries in Central andWestern Anatolia.This isalso the language of a number of anonymous folk-poets, folk-songs, fairy tales, riddles(tekerlemeler), and proverbs.Yunus impact onTurkish culture can be seen in various ways. During the efforts to purify theTurkish language in the 1920s his poetry was a prime example of the dialect of Anatolianpeasants. Several authors claim that many idioms in everyday language are actually versesfrom his poetry. His philosophy, metaphysics and humanism have been examined in varioussymposiums and conferences on a regular basis both inTurkey and abroad. UNESCO namedYunus Emre one of the main cultural figures of world, and dedicated 1991 as "TheInternationalYunus EmreYear". His work has been translated into several languages, andhistorians consider his system of thought important for clues about thirteenth-centuryAnatolia.These are just some examples of Emres impact on comtemporaryTurkish society.
Mehmed Akif Ersoy (1873 - 1936)• A greatTurkish - Islamic poet, he has also written the lyrics ofour national anthem.• Akif practically screams with his poetry where he displays a strikingstrong voice which kindles nationalistic feelings.The poem hewrote for those who died at Gallipoli, is the greatest of the legendsof heroism. Akif who gave us the most effective examples of theart of poetry, has moved to Anatolia during the NationalIndependence War, and was one of its participants.• Despite the fact religious subjects are abundant in his poems, hecannot be considered as merely an Islamic poet. His lines, takingtheir theme from numerous problems faced by the society, hasproven that his vision reached far beyond religion. His poems arecollected in seven volumes under the title "Safahat".
Nâzım Hikmet (1902 –1963)• Nazim Hikmet was born in 1902 in Salonika. He was exposed to poetry at anearly age through his artist mother and poet grandfather, and had his firstpoems published when he was seventeen.• After receiving early recognition for his patriotic poems in syllabic meter, hecame under the influence of the Russian Futurists in Moscow, and abandonedtraditional forms while attempting to "depoetize" poetry.• Many of his works have been translated into English, including HumanLandscapes from My Country: An Epic Novel inVerse (2009), Things I DidntKnow I Loved (1975), The Day BeforeTomorrow (1972), The MoscowSymphony (1970), and Selected Poems (1967). In 1936 he published SeyhBedreddin destani ("The Epic of Shaykh Bedreddin") and Memleketimden insanmanzaralari ("Portraits of People from My Land").• Hikmet died of a heart attack in Moscow in 1963.The first modernTurkishpoet, he is recognized around the world as one of the great international poetsof the twentieth century.
OrhanVeli Kanık (1914-1950)• OrhanVeli was born in Istanbul. His father was a conductor of thePresidential Symphony Orchestra. OrhanVeli studied at the AnkaraGazi High School before he started his university education whichlasted one year at Istanbul Universitys philosophy department beforedropping out in 1935. He was employed by the Ministry of Education asa translator from 1945 to 1947. Later, he worked as a freelancetranslator and journalist. In 1949, he helped the publication ofYaprak, aliterary magazine. As also evidenced from the contents of some of hisdeeply humorous poetry.•He is known for advocating a poetry without excessive stylisticelements and adjectives, and preferring a style closer to free-verse. Heis known for his unique voice, and depth of emotion underlying theseemingly easy-coming nature of his verse. His poetry is highly admiredby the public as well as in academic circles.
AsikVeysel (1894 - 1973)• AsikVeysel (Veysel Satiroglu) is among the minstrels of the Republican era. Bornin the Sivrialan village of Sarkisla (district of Sivas), he lost his sight at the age of7 during a smallpox epidemic. He developed his talents as he got familiar withthe broken saz (string instrument) given to him by his father to keep himentertained, and as he listen to the wandering minstrels visiting Sivrialan.Whenboth his mother and father died in 1920, he was left alone with his saz and thechildren of his elder brother. He gained recognition after 1931. HereachedAnkara for the 10th year anniversary of the Republic establishedbyAtatürk after traveling on foot for three months. He traveled around thecountry, reciting his poetry and playing his saz. He was a teacher of folk songs atvarious village institutes. His house he lived in Sivas was restored and convertedinto a museum in 1982.• All poems of AsikVeysel were collected by UmitYasar Oguzcan and publishedwith the title "Let the Friends Remember Me" (1970).A book of collected worksedited by U.Y. Oguzcan was also published in 1973 which includes his biographyand articles written about him and his poetry.
Halide Edip Adivar (1884 - 1964)• The renown novelist who was one of the heroes of the nationalindependence movement, has written stories which could penetrate tothe depths of human soul and which could excite the reader.• She has proven herself as an analytical novelist which could effectivelybring to life exceptional female characters who are sometimes hurt whenfaced with the eternal power of love and passion situations which alsopush the stories forward, but who never bend.This is seen particularly in"SeviyeTalib" published in 1909, "RaikinAnnesi" (1910) and "Handan"(1912). She has also proven with her novel "Son Eseri", published in 1912that she was a master of creating characters who are equipped with anunfailing love of art, and who posses an infinite source of excitement.She started publishing the paperYeniTuran in the same year.• Her most famous works are "Sinekli Bakkal", "Vurun Kahpeye", "KalpAgrisi" and "ZeynonunOglu".
Attilâ İlhan (1925 –2005)• Attilâ İlhan was born in Menemen in İzmir Province,Turkey on 15 June1925. He received most of his primary education in İzmir.However, because of his fathers job, he completed his junior highschool education in different cities.Aged 16 and enrolled in İzmirAtatürk High School, he got into trouble for sending a poem by NazımHikmet, a famous dissident communistTurkish poet, to a girl he wasin love with. He was arrested and taken into custody for three weeks.He was also dismissed from school and jailed for two months. Afterhis imprisonment, İlhan was forbidden from attending any schools inTurkey, thus interrupting his education.• The poem, Cebbaroğlu Mehemmed won the second prize among manypoems written by famous poets. He gratuated from high school in1942 and enrolled in İstanbul Universitys law school. However, he leftmidway through his legal education to pursue his own endeavours andpublished his first poetry book, Duvar (TheWall).
ORHAN PAMUK• Orhan Pamuk is a world famous and Nobel prize winnerTurkish novelist frommodern times. He was born in Istanbul on 7th of June 1952. During his childhood inNisantasi neighborhood, he dreamed to become a painter so he kept painting untilhe was 22 years old. He was graduated from the Robert College highschool in Istanbul and then went to IstanbulTechnical University to studyarchitecture. But after 3 years of architecture studies, he changed his mind and quitthe school then studied journalism at the Istanbul University, but he didnt become ajournalist neither. So, at the age of 23 he decided to become a writer and lefteverything behind to dedicate himself in writing.• Orhan Pamuk became a writer in 1974. In 1979, his first novel "Karanlik ve Isik"(Darkness and Light fromTurkish) won the first prize during the Milliyet NovelCompetition.This novel was published as a book in 1982 under the name of "CevdetBey ve Ogullari" (Mister Cevdet and His Sons), and then he won another prize in 1983with the same book at the Orhan Kemal Novel prizes. Many of his later books wonalso several international prizes all around the world, his novels are classified underthe post-modern novels category.• Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006, becoming thefirstTurkish citizen to win such a prize and one of the two youngest persons to getthis prize
ELİF ŞAFAK• Elif Shafak was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer inTurkey.Critics have named her as "one of the most distinctive voices incontemporaryTurkish and world literature". Her books have beentranslated into more than thirty languages and she was awarded thehonorary distinction of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.• Shafak has published twelve books, eight of which are novels. Shewrites fiction in bothTurkish and English. Shafak blendsWestern andEastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the myriad stories ofwomen, minorities, immigrants, subcultures, youth and global souls.Her work draws on diverse cultures and literary traditions, as well asdeep interest in history, philosophy,Sufism, oral culture, and culturalpolitics. Shafaks writing breaks down categories, clichés, and culturalghettoes. She also has a keen eye for black humor.