Dossier: Turkish Literature

Protest rally in Istanbul, one year after the Gezi demonstrations. Photo: Ali Yildirim

A literary anthology of the Gezi protests

Gezi lives!

In "Gezi – A Literary Anthology", a volume of essays that was recently published in German, 19 Turkish authors and a photographer reflect on the motivation and dynamics of the Gezi movement. By Astrid KaminskiMore

Emrah Serbes. Photo: Iletisim Yayinlari

Portrait of the Turkish writer Emrah Serbes

"Politics is made on the street by the people"

The young author Emrah Serbes is regarded as the "enfant terrible" of Turkish literature. Not only is he one of the most popular authors in Turkey: since the protests in Gezi Park last summer and his active participation in the resistance, many now seen him as the "writer and voice of the people". Ceyda Nurtsch met him at a reading in BerlinMore

Cover of the book Alev Cukurkavakli by Sabahattin Ali

Sabahattin Ali's novel "Yusuf"

A modern-day Odysseus

The works of Sabahattin Ali are widely read classics in Turkey. The author suffered throughout his life from censorship and repression, yet his novels, with their modern multi-perspective narrative style and skilled social criticism, still hold up a mirror to the powers that be. Now, his novel "Yusuf" has been translated into German and published. By Volker KaminskiMore

Elif Shafak (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Elif Shafak

"There is a lack of democratic culture in Turkey"

The Turkish writer Elif Shafak is one of the country's best-selling authors and one of the best known Turkish writers worldwide. In her books, she intertwines sensitive Turkish issues with cosmopolitan stories and Sufism. In this interview, she talks to Ceyda Nurtsch about how she plays with language, the role of fiction and the democratisation of TurkeyMore

A woman photographs one of Istanbul's new rainbow steps (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Art and protest in Turkey

Poking fun at the sultan

For about a year now, Turkey has been experiencing one of its worst ever political crises. It is a situation that has given the country's art scene a chance to flourish and to exercise its creativity in protest. However, such activity often entails the risk of serious consequences. By Senada Sokollu in IstanbulMore

Zülfü Livaneli (photo: Bongarts/Getty Images)

"Serenade" by Zülfü Livaneli

Turkish Plea for Tolerance

In his novel "Serenade", the composer, singer and author Zülfü Livaneli writes about Armenian, Jewish and Muslim identity, mirrored in 20th century Turkey's history and the crimes of the Second World War. A review by Astrid KaminskiMore

Pinar Selek (photo: F. Florin/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Pinar Selek

''I Can Feel a Huge Amount of Solidarity''

The sociologist and author Pinar Selek spoke with Hülya Köylü Schenk on her sentence of life imprisonment in Turkey and on the solidarity she has been receiving from many levels of societyMore

Marianne Salzmann and Deniz Utlu (photo: Martina Prießner)

Post-Migrant Literature in Germany

''The time has come to speak out very, very loudly''

The writers duo Marianne Salzmann and Deniz Utlu are pioneers of Germany's post-migrant literary scene. In this interview with Astrid Kaminski, they talk about 'transcultural perspectives', the meaning of subculture and anti-Semitism in GermanyMore

Oya Baydar (photo: dpa)

Interview with the Turkish writer Oya Baydar

''Turkey is a country of miracles''

The writer and journalist Oya Baydar speaks here to Ceyda Nurtsch about the role of the novel in Turkey in exploring the country's history, and why Turkish intellectuals were more optimistic about the democratisation of their country than they are nowMore

Orhan Pamuk in his “Museum of Innocence” (photo: © Museum of Innocence)

Interview with Orhan Pamuk

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''The Museum of Innocence'' – A Declaration of Love to the City of Istanbul

Orhan Pamuk is Turkey's most famous writer. In 2006 he also became the first ever Turkish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He recently presented a very special museum to his home city of Istanbul. An interview by Aygül CizmeciogluMore

Protest against AKP in Istanbul (photo: AP)

Turkish Cultural Policy

Continuity and Change

The diversity of literature presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair also illustrates the contradictions in Turkish society today. Ömer Erzeren with an essay on Turkishliterary and cultural production between Kemalism and the religious conservative AKPMore

Elif Shafak (photo: private copyright)

Interview with Elif Shafak

"In Turkey, a Novel Is a Public Statement"

Elif Shafak's latest novel, "The Bastard of Istanbul", has been tremendously well received in Turkey. However, Shafak is now facing a trial for "denigrating Turkishness" – because of comments made by one of her characters in the novel. Interview by Lewis GroppMore

Orhan Pamuk (photo: AP)

Orhan Pamuk

Bestselling Author and Avantgarde Writer

Orhan Pamuk is one of Turkey's most significant authors. While Turkey developed a kind of love-hate relationship to the author, Pamuk enjoys tremendous popularity in EU-Europe. A portrait by Lewis GroppMore