Between East and West

Turkish written literature dates as far back as the 7th century but its oral tradition is older still. Turkish literature started its journey with the nomads on horseback and continued both East and West through religious and cultural relations after the Turks settled in Anatolia. The Turkish shaman poet,...

Written on the Forehead

Writing and letters have deep meaning in Turkey. As the cradle of different religions and nations, Turkish, Armenian, Greek and Ottoman letters can be seen everywhere in Turkey. Some old alphabets previously used still have a place in our lives today, trails of old Turkish runic letters can be seen in the...

A Distinctive Kind of Literature from Barış Bıçakçı

The latest book of Barış Bıçakçı, a writer mostly celebrated for his distinctive texts, entitled After Going Parallel to the Ground for a While (Bir Süre Yere Paralel Gittikten Sonra, 2008) possesses an even greater literary tour de force and effectiveness than that of his previous writings, i.e. As...

Mapping the ‘İkinci Yeni’

The maps of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth demonstrate a remarkable fealty to the fictional world they depict. And yet they are fictions. They are also astonishing visual manifestations of Tolkien’s fetish for facts. My understanding of the İkinci Yeni (meaning literally, the Second New) perpetuates its...

A Brief Note on Alphabet Reform in Turkey

In Turkey, you can see examples of writing from the past everywhere. However, most people cannot read them because these writings on fountains, mosques and doors are written using a different alphabet than the one used today in Turkey. This old alphabet consists of Arabic letters with some additional...

God’s Word Embodied

OTTOMAN ART OF CALLIGRAPHY (Hüsnühat) by Ahmet Soysal Norgunk Publishing, 68 pp., 2004, ISBN: 978-975-8686-18-6 ‘And He taught Adam the names of all things.’ (Quran 2:31) The primary, universal and transcendent language which was taught to Adam doesn’t only consist of the voices which have a...

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