Turkeys acclaimed writer Orhan Kemal was
commemorated on the 41st anniversary of his death
last week, with authors and critics praising his
work and contributions to society during a ceremony
at the Orhan Kemal Culture Center in Istanbuls
central Beyoğlu district.
Doğan Hızlan, Hürriyet Daily columnist and writer,
said at the ceremony, Orhan Kemal was a writer of
Kemal never used hate speech even when he was
writing about the people who manipulated the
perception of reality in Turkey, according to
Kemal has long been known for his fiction based on
realism that reflects the poor peoples lifestyle in
Turkey. His stories and novels generally depict the
lives of ordinary working people trying to hold on
to their dignity in conditions of poverty or
İnci Aral, a Turkish contemporary literature writer,
said Kemals stories are still very valuable for
Turkish readers, as the writer mainly focused on
immigration and the family structure after the
1950s. Speaking during the ceremony, Aral said, The
themes of goodness, evil, tolerance and support are
the main focus of Orhan Kemals works.
Kemal also wrote about the generation gap between
young and old people in the same cities. Orhan
Kemal used a neat, detailed and simple language in
his works, said Aral.
Kemals style, realistic and plain, always gives
details about peoples modern day lives, according
The realistic dialog also adds a certain fluidity to
his novels. Thats why all the Kemals works are
adapted to cinema and theater, said Aral, noting
that Kemal is not an impartial, superficial or
shallow writer. Kemal always tried to understand the
problems of society and depict them universally in
his works, he said.
As a writer, Kemal reflected Turkish society and
peoples lives, said Aral. The controversies within
society are the main features that feed the plot in
Kemal was also imprisoned during Turkeys single
party era. However he was never tired of reflecting
the reality of the society and politics.
Aral said: Today, it is different, but we still
witness the same problems in society, such as
corruption and unemployment. This makes us question
ourselves: Do we need new Orhan Kemals in
Kemal Award in the literary world
Columnist Hızlan also mentioned this years Orhan
Kemal Award-winning author Kamuran Şipal.
Noting that Şipal has not been mentioned much in the
media, Hızlan said: Şipal is not a writer who likes
to be in the middle of the media. He prefers to be
I understand Şipals silence, but we should know
more about him. Critics should mention works of
Şipal more, he said.
Hızlan said it was critics duty to write about
Şipal, and they have failed, he said.
Writers who deal with the real literary pieces
cannot enter the lists of bestsellers, however, I do
not accept an approach such as, Bestselling books
are good and less selling books are bad. Thats why
I think Şipal should be mentioned more by critics
and the media, he said.
Şipals award-winning book, You are my secret, you
are my confident, is not a book that can be read
without paying close attention to the text,
according to Hızlan. If people would be patient
with a writer and discover them, then some writers
can add different meanings to readers lives.
However, people do not have enough patience to
discover an author.
Şipals stories have peculiar features and those
stories can teach literary rules and criteria to the
readers, according to Hızlan.