Necip Fazıl Kısakürek was born on May 26, 1904 in Istanbul. He wrote under various pseudonyms such as Ahmet Necip, Ne-Fe-Ka, Hi-Ab-Kö, Ha-A-Ka, Prof. Ş.Ü., Be-De, Adı Değmez, Neslihan Kısakürek, Ahmet Abdülbaki, and Ozan. Necip Fazıl Kısakürek was the member of a prominent family, and grew up in a crowded mansion. During his frequently interrupted educational life, he attended various schools, and finally, he spent five years at a military school but never graduated. In 1924, he went to Paris, France and studied philosophy for about two years. Upon his return to his homeland, he continued the bohemian lifestyle that he had taken up in Paris. He spent short periods in various governmental jobs but never had a consistent professional career.

After 1923, Necip Fazıl Kısakürek earned himself a place in the literary world through the articles and poems that appeared in various publications and newspapers. His first volume of poetry was published in 1925, and many poems and plays followed. But his first novel appeared in 1970, after a long period of silence.  Kısakürek is best known for the poems that he wrote during the first years of the Republic; rendered in syllabic meter, these are aesthetically minded, profoundly metaphysical and psychological pieces. This type of poetry, especially because of the emphasis placed on the aesthetic aspect, represented his quest for a common and pure poetic language, an enthusiasm that he shared with some of his contemporaries. In the hands of Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, the syllabic meter that had until then been struggling within the confines of a formal structure, was elevated to a competent level. In addition, he is unique among his contemporaries because of his pathetic and tragic characters, who manifested themselves through mystical and metaphysical tendencies, unfounded fears, and delirium. Through this innovative approach, Necip Fazıl Kısakürek has had a lasting impact on many poets that followed him.

In addition to poetry, for some time Necip Fazıl Kısakürek was actively involved with drama as well. Sensations such as fear, terror, disgust, mistrust, suspicion, isolation, which appeared as abstract concepts in his poetry, have been carried to the stage through various dramatic techniques and striking dialogues. His dramatic characters are often guilt ridden, and they experience heavy pangs of conscience. His plays often forced the limits of the mind, and took up themes such as the relationship between destiny and will, the relationship between mind, feeling and intuition, and the conflict of the tangible versus the abstract. Due to all this, some critics argued that Kısakürek was influenced by the Nordic tradition of drama. Indeed, most of Kısakürek’s dramatic works are composed with meticulously detailed technique, and they leave little room for interpretation or creativity by the producer or the dramaturge. However, despite these obvious restrictions, the Turkish State Theater has performed almost all of his dramatic pieces repeatedly.

Necip Fazıl Kısakürek led an extremely productive life, and wrote many poems, plays, articles, and essays. In 1980, in an official ceremony, The Turkish Foundation for Literature granted him the “Sultanı Şuara” (“Mastermind”) title.

Necip Fazıl Kısakürek died in Istanbul on May 25, 1983.
Necip Fazıl Kısakürek's Works:
Poetry: Örümcek Ağı (The Cobweb, 1925), Kaldırımlar (Pavements, 1928), Ben ve Ötesi (Me and Beyond, 1932), Çile (Suffering, 1962), Şiirlerim (My Poems, 1969), Esselam (Greetings, 1973).

Play: Tohum (Seed, 1935), Bir Adam Yaratmak (To Create a Man, 1938). Künye (Identification Tag, 1940), Sabırtaşı (The Epitome of Patience, 1940), Para (Money, 1942), Nam-ı Diğer Parmaksız Salih (Well-known Fingerless Salih, 1949), Reis Bey (Reis Bey, 1964), Ahşap Konak (Wooden Mansion, 1964), Siyah Pelerinli Adam (The Man with the Black Cape, 1964), Ulu Hakan Abdülhamid Han (The Great Emperor Abdülhamid Khan, 1965), Yunus Emre (Yunus Emre 1969), Kanlı Sarık (Bloody Sarık, 1970), Mukaddes Emanet (The Holy Trust, 1971), İbrahim Edhem (İbrahim Edhem 1978).

Short Story:
Birkaç Hikâye Birkaç Tahlil (Several Short Stories and Several Analyses, 1933), Ruh  Burkuntularından Hikâyeler (Short Stories from Sad Souls, 1965), Hikâyelerim (My Stories, 1973).

Novel: Aynadaki Yalan (The Lie in the Mirror, 1970), Kafa Kağıdı (Identity Card, 1983).

Vatan Şairi Namık Kemal (The Motherland Poet Namık Kemal, 1944), Senaryo Romanları (Screenplay Novels, 1972), Battal Gazi (Clumsy Veteran), Yangın Var (Fire!).

Monograph: Eseri ve Tesiriyle Namık Kemal (Namık Kemal, His Work and Its Impact, 1940), Ulu Hakan Abdulhamid Han (The Great Emperor Abdulhamid Han, 1965), Vatan Haini Değil Büyük Vatan dostu Vahidüddin (Vahidüddin, A Great Lover of the Motherland, Not a Traitor, 1968), Benim Gözümde Menderes (Menderes In My Opinion, 1970).

Çerçeve (Frame, 1940), Maskenizi Yırtıyorum (I’m Ripping Your Mask, 1953), At’a Senfoni (Symphony to a Horse, 1958), Türkiye’nin Manzarası (State of Turkey, 1968), Binbir Çerçeve I – V (Thousands of Frames I-V, 1968-69), Çepeçevre Anadolu ve Gençlik (All Around Anatolia and Youth, 1969), Çepeçevre Sosyalizm, Komünizm ve İnsanlık (All Around Socialism, Communism and Humanity, 1969), Son Devrin Din Mazlumları (Modest Religious People of The Last Age,1969), Yeniçeri (Janissary, 1970), Tarihimizde Moskof (Russians in Our History, 1973), Cumhuriyet’in 50. Yılında Türkiye’nin Manzarası (The Image of Turkey on the 50th Anniversary of the Republic, 1973), İhtilal (The Revolution, 1976), Rapor 1-13 (Report 1-13, 1976-80).

Halkadan Pırıltılar (Sparkles from the Ring, 1948), Çöle İnen Nur (The Holy Light Casting on the Desert, 1950), Altın Zincir (Golden Chain, 1959), Altun Halka (Golden Ring, 1960), O ki O Yüzden Varız (That is the Reason of Our Existence, 1961), İlim Beldesinin Kapısı Hz. Ali (Esteemed Ali, The Door to the City of Science, 1964), Hulefa-i Raşidin Menkıbelerine Ait Bir Pırıltı Binbir Işık (The Gleam of Thousands of Lights of the Hulefa-i Raşidin Legends, 1965), Peygamber Halkası (The Prophet Ring, 1968), Tanrı Kulundan Dinlediklerim (The Things I Heard from the Servant of God, 1968), Nur Harmanı (Harvest of Holy Light, 1970), Başbuğ Velilerden 33 (From the Principal Saints 33, 1974), Veliler Ordusunda 33 (Among the Saints 33, 1976), Do�?ru Yolun Sapık Kolları (Perverted Deviations of the True Way, 1978), İman ve İslam Atlası (Atlas of Faith and Islam, 1981), Batı Tefekkürü ve İslam Tasavvufu (Thoughts of the West and Islam Sufism, 1982).

Speech and Conference: Abdülhak Hamid ve Dolayısıyla (Abdülhak Hamid and So, 1937), Müdafaa (Defense, 1946), Her Cephesiyle Komünizma (Communism in All Its Aspects, 1961), Türkiye’de Komünizma ve Köy Enstitüleri (Communism in Turkey and the Village Institutions, 1962), İman ve Aksiyon (Faith and Action, 1964), İki Hitabe (Two Speeches, 1966), Müdafaalarım (My Defenses, 1969), Hitabe (The Speech, 1975), Yolumuz, Halimiz, Çaremiz (Our Way, State and Remedy, 1977).

Cinnet Mustatili (Rectangle of Madness, 1955), Büyük Kapı (Great Door, 1965), Hac (Pilgrimage, 1973), Babıâli (The Sublime Porte, 1975

* Biographical information concerning Necip Fazıl Kısakürek has been gathered from Tanzimat’tan Bugüne Edebiyatçılar Ansiklopedisi.

Reference: Yesim Gokce (Bilkent University)/Turkish Cultural Foundation, photograph courtesy of Ara Guler.

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