Discover Turkey, home of literature
Literature is an important component of Turkish cultural life, reflecting the history of the people, their legends, their mysticism, and the political and social changes.
The history of Turkish Literature may be divided into three periods, reflecting the history of Turkish civilization as follows: the period up to the adoption of Islam, the Islamic period and the period under western influence.
The oldest literary legacy of the pre-Islamic period are the Orhon inscriptions in northern Mongolia, written in 735 on 2 large stones in honour of a Turkish king and his brother.
During the Ottoman period, the prevailing literary form was poetry, the dominant dialect was Anatolian or Ottoman, and the main subject beauty and romance. The Ottoman Divan literature was highly influenced by Persian culture and written in a dialect, which combined Arabic, Persian and Turkish.
Separate from the aristocratic Divan literature, folk literature continued to dominate Anatolia where troubadour-like poets celebrated nature, love and God in simple Turkish language.
Towards the 20th century, the language of Turkish literature became simpler and more political and social in substance. The great and politically controversial poet, Nazim Hikmet, inspired by the Russian poet Mayakowski, introduced free verse in the late 1930s.
Yasar Kemal was one of Turkey's leading writers. He received 38 awards during his lifetime and had been a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature on the Ince Memed.
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2006 was awarded to the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.
Some of the world famous Turkish writers; Atilla Ilhan, Aziz Nesin, Elif Safak, Nazim Hikmet, Orhan Pamuk, Yasar Kemal.
Nazim Hikmet, Turkish Poet
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