“My aim as a writer... I wonder if I could summarize it as follows: The happiness of the Turkish people and all of mankind in general under the free conditions provided by a materialistic approach.

Lincoln describes democracy as ‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people’.

Couldn’t we then say art is for the government of humanity, by humanity, for humanity.”




“...There’s a great deal of injustice in life. It’s the writer’s duty to fight against this. The socially oppressed and underprivileged are in need of hope. But even this is not enough. Hope is not something abstract. It is something that exists in life itself, in the very nature of man. I disagree with writers who try to instil hope without taking this into consideration. A writer must have an aim. And I say that this aim should be for people.

In order to be a writer one must live, feel and understand the people. It is the most important thing for a writer to remain in close contact with the people and to observe the changes that take place amongst them.”




“... Ought not a writer to portray characters who do not and must not conform to the dictates of a rotten society? Aren’t there such characters in our society today? I think there are. Mankind in general is striving towards a better way of life. I’ve noticed that even the worst person is trying to improve himself. What prevents him is the social order. I hope I’ve made it clear enough.”




“... I use a kind of reportage technique in my novels and short stories. In other words, I get my characters to reveal their own psychological states of mind. And for that reason. I employ the dialectics of dialogue.

Therefore I never interfere with the conversations of the characters in my novels and short stories. I let them speak as it comes naturally; I very rarely correct their mistakes. I don’t make a man in rags speak as if he were wearing a pin-striped suit. This approach insures the atmosphere of the work and at the same time it makes it plausible to the reader.

Apart from the dialogues, when it is the writer’s turn to speak, he should use the language in the finest and the most correct manner. By doing so, he will show the present day state of the language and at the same time point out the direction in which it ought to develop.”




On The Fertile Lands  ( Bereketli Topraklar Üzerinde )


“Every year thousands of workers come down from Northern, Southern and Central Anatolia to the fertile Chukurova  plain to look for work in factories, in the village economy or wherever they can find a job. Tens of thousands of labourers wander around in great cities where they expect  “To earn their bread”  in hunger, suffering and despair.”




The Old Shoemaker and Sons   ( Eskici ve Oðullarý )


“If one is to give a broad outline of the main theme of   “The Old Shoemaker and Sons”, one might say that it is a cross section of life in which old and new, progressive and reactionary thoughts and attidues are in conflict. It is the drama of  The Old Shoemaker  and his family, the mechanisation of agriculture and the unbridled increase in the prices of agricultural products. The migration of the peasants to the great cities. And the decline and collapse of the small craftsmen unable to hold their ground in the face of rapid spread of factory production.”








“On The Fertile Lands, is the story of three landless peasants coming down from a poor village in Central Anatolia to work in Chukurova.”


Konur Ertop




“If someone were to ask what has been the most common distinguishing feature of an Orhan Kemal novel, I imagine we would all say ‘simplicity’. But is an Orhan Kemal novel really simple? Quite the contrary. What we call his simplicity is actually a clarity that is very difficult to attain, a lucidity, an orderliness. If you approach  it sincerely, you will appreciate it.”


Demirtaþ Ceyhun




“Orhan Kemal is a writer full of love for mankind. This is clearly proved by the way he sees and treats characters. Because he does net see people merely from outside; he knows them and love them as if he experiences them from within. He is one of them himself. He is a writer who has observed, experienced and felt in his heart the striking human qualities of these, small insignificant people; workers, labourers and clerks...”






“In may opinion the significance of  Vukuat Var lies in its revealing the social essence of the people living in Chukurova and in achieving a synthesis of a sense of reality and of social psychology in creating the relations between the characters.”


Ömer Faruk  Toprak




“... Gurbet Kuþlarý  is one of the writer’s most important and most successful works. This socio-political novel treats the most immediate and important problems of  its time and reflects the basic reality of contemporary society.”


Ýbrahim Tatarlý




“Orhan Kemal has again, in this work, proved himself a master in depicting the destitute working people of his country.

Gurbet Kuþlarý is a work we read with interest and suspense and which after reading, deserves serious thought and deliberation.”






“With Kanlý Topraklar,  Orhan Kemal has once again presented the Turkish readers with a highly accomplished novel.”


Behzat Ay




“In relating the struggles for survival of these small people of all ages torn between love and livelihood, he displays a mastery and ease arising from an intimate familiarity with the circles he is describing.”


Tahir Alangu




“... With Üçkaðýtçý, which can well be described as the finest of all his novels, he acquired an honourable place among modern Turkish satirical writers....Üçkaðýtçý proves, how the writer succeeded in the satirical field by turning to wider perspectives.”


Xenia Celnarova




“To sum up, My Father’s House is a very  successful work and Orhan Kemal is a masterly writer. He has a poetic, lively and absorbing style.”


Necati Cumalý




“... Avare Yýllar may be considered as a didactic work based on real life experience and the thoughts evoked by these experiences, summoning people to a conscious attitude to the life around them.”


Vedat Günyol




“As Yashar Khemal has pointed out, Orhan Kemal immortalized the character of Murtaza. It is equally true that Murtaza, in turn, immortalized Orhan Kemal.”


Adnan Binyazar




“.... The Old Shoemaker and Sons occupies a special place of its own in recent Turkish literature as a social document because of the external realism with which it depicts the evolution of life in Chukurova and the social class, types and characters that it makes accessible to us.”


Hulki Aktunç




“.... He has furnished us with a new approach to contemporary realism and humanity....The writer has unbounded faith in his people and writes for his people....

All these make up the main features of the socialist realistic style in Orhan Kemal’s art.”


Svetlana Uturgauri