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INFLUENCE OF WESTERN LITERATURE ON TURKISH LITERATURE

Turkish Literature was also influenced by the Western Literature. Changes in social, economic and political life were reflected in the literature of the time and the quest for change continued till the proclamation of the Republic. The distinguishing characteristic of the era in literature was the concern with intellectual content rather than esthetic values or perfection of style. The latest period in literature, which is known as the Turkish Literature of the Republican period, came to be influenced by the following literary schools after Divan literary styles had been abandoned: Tanzimat (reforms), Servet-i Fünun (scientific wealth), Fecr-i Ati (dawn of the new age) and Ulusal Edebiyat (national literature).

Leading figures in the first period (1860-1880) in Tanzimat literature were Sinasi, Ziya Pasa, Namik Kemal, and Ahmet Mithat Efendi. Leading figures during the second period (1880-1896) were Recaizade Mahmut Ekrem, Abdülhak Hamit, Sami Pasazade Sezai, and Nabizade Nazim.

Tevfik Fikret, Cenap Sahabettin, Süleyman Nazif, Halit Ziya Usakligil, Mehmet Rauf, Hüseyin Cahit Yalçin and Ahmet Hikmet Müftüoglu are the important representatives of this trend. Others who adopted the western approach, but who were outside the group, were Ahmet Rasim and Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpinar who supported the new Turkish literature.

The most interesting Fecr-i Ati poet was Ahmet Hasim. Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu and Refik Halit Karay who initially were in the Fecr-i Ati at the start of their careers, attained their true literary identities later in the National Literature Movement.

Mehmet Akif Ersoy and Yahya Kemal Beyatli initially followed independent courses and later joined the National Literature movement. The Tanzimat, Servet-i Fünun and Fecr-i Ati groups who came together to create a modern Turkish literature made great strides towards this aim, but their works stopped short of being a national literature with distinctive characteristics. In spirit, it was French-oriented, in language and style it was traditional and Ottoman.

National Literature was created between the years 1911 and 1923. The leading literary figures of the period were Ziya Gokalp, Ömer Seyfettin, Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, Yusuf Ziya Ortaç, Faruk Nafiz Camlibel, Enis Behiç Koryürek, Kemalletin Kamu, Aka Gündüz, Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Halide Edip Adivar, Halit Karay, Resat Nuri Güntekin, Ahmet Hikmet Müftüoglu, Necip Fazil Kisakürek, Halide Nusret Zorlutuna, Sükufe Nihal, Peyami Safa, and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar.

The Republic later encompassed practically all national literary figures in the fields of culture, ideology and literature. The first decade of the Republic bore the stamp of the National Literature movement, wherein the simple clear language, poetic forms and syllabic metre of folk literature and topics from Turkey were favoured.

The topics, written in simple language, were taken from real life and mirrored the conditions of the country. A unity was created in which all artists: Islamic, Ottoman, traditionalist and individualist could be a part, because the issue was not the concept of the trend of national literature, but the period itself of national literature.

Yahya Kemal Beyatli made his debut in 1912 and won fame during the War of Independence. Until the day he died he did not tire in his quest for pure poetry.

Mehmet Akif Ersoy, often considered an Islamic poet, made a great impact on both intellectuals and the masses with his book of poetry "Safahat" (stages) in which he treats the poverty and underdevelopment of various cities (primarily Istanbul) and countries and the alien aims of the intellectuals.

The first poets of the Republic used simple language and the syllabic metre. The advocates of the syllabic metre who won fame during the Truce Years were Orhan Seyfi Orhon, Yusuf Ziya Ortac, Faruk Nafiz Camlibel and Kemalettin Kamu, all poets who stressed themes from Anatolia and the lives of ordinary people in their poems.

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar wrote intensely profound poems full of hidden meaning, adapting Paul Valery's poetic notions to the Turkish language. Ahmet Kutsi Tecer was inspired in his work by folk sources, while Necip Fazil Kisakürek expressed the mystic tendencies of the Anatolian people in his poems and plays, using the Turkish language skilfully in an original and modern style reflecting his colourful character. Nazim Hikmet Ran, who went to Russia when he was young and returned with Marxist-materialist convictions, wrote revolutionary poems using the esthetic qualities of Turkish in a new way which bore the influence of Myakovsky. These poems were the beginning of a socialist trend which became common in Turkish literature in the 1960's. By contrast, Ahmet Muhip Dranas' poems reflected esthetic considerations only. Arif Nihat Asya was original in the richness of spirit and style of his poems.

Ömer Seyfettin, the founder and most successful representative of the short story tradition in Turkish literature became the most widely-read author in the country when the 144th edition of his books was published. The writings of Sait Faik Abasiyanik and Sabahattin Ali started two widely different trends. Sait Faik Abasiyanik picked on happenings in Istanbul with intense poetical feeling based on his own experiences. Sabahattin Ali, on the other hand, had a materialistic philosophy and specialized in objective description of simple events. With these two writers, daily life and events, opinions and expectations began to be reflected in literature, a trend that was to intensify in the 1960's.

Orhan Veli Kanik published his poems in a book entitled "Garip" in 1941, and two others who shared his style, Melih Cevdet Anday and Oktay Rifat, created a new poetic movement called "Garipciler", based on the elimination of such formal restrictions as metre, rhyme and analogy hitherto considered to be essential in poetry. They wanted poetry to become a simple expression of feelings. Orhan Veli's successful poems in free verse greatly influenced those who came after him. Cahit Sitki Taranci achieved the same simplicity through the use of metre and rhyme. Free verse spread rapidly. Asaf Halet Çelebi, Fazil Hüsnü Daglarca and Behçet Necatigil were some of the successful representatives of this style.

The most well-known and widely-read writers of the 1950-1990 period can be listed as follows: Tarik Dursun K., Atilla lhan, Yasar Kemal, Orhan Kemal, Kemal Tahir, Tarik Bugra, Aziz Nesin, Mustafa Necati Sepetçioglu, Firuzan, Adalet Agaoglu, Sevgi Soysal, Tomris Uyar, Selim Ileri,Cevat Sakir (Halikarnas Balikçisi), Necati Cumali, Haldun Taner. Prominent poets in this period are: Behçet Kemal Çaglar, Necati Cumali , Oktay Rifat, Melih Cevdet Anday, Cemal Süreya, Edip Cansever, Özdemir Ince, Ataol Behramoglu, Ismet Özel, Ece Ayhan, Turgut Uyar, Sezai Karakoç, Bahaettin Karakoç, Ümit Yasar Oguzcan, Orhan Pamuk .

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