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SELECTION OF BOOKS

1. Orhan PAMUK-Other colors

2. Orhan PAMUK-The Snow

3. Ayşe KULIN-Face to Face

4. Ayşe KULIN -Last Train to Istanbul

5. Ayşe KuLIN-Aylin

6. Orhan KEMAL-The Idle Years

7. Nazim HIKMET-Poems of Nazim Hikmet

8. Yaşar KEMAL-They Burn the Thistles

9. Elif SAFAK-The Forty Rules of Love

10. Elif SAFAK-the Flea Palace

11. Serdar OZKAN-The Missing Rose

12. Aslı SANCAR-Harem/A Journey of Love

13. Selma KATIP-Burning Windows

14. Dr. Erdoğan Erol, Mevlânâ’s Life

15. Ömer Zülfü Livaneli, Bliss  (Turkish title: Mutluluk)

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1. Other Colours (Turkish title : Öteki Renkler) : Writings on Life, Art, Books and Cities by Ferit Orhan Pamuk (1999)

Ferit Orhan Pamuk's first book since winning a Nobel prize is an abundant collection of ideas, images and flights of the imagination written over the last three decades. Reflecting on lifelong obsessions, his own novels and the work of others, Pamuk deftly weaves memories, places and political themes into a continuous narrative, crafting an unexpectedly cohesive picture of his life as a literary man out of fragments from his notebooks. Other Colours gives us a glimpse into the intimacies of family life, his struggle to quit smoking, his need for a "daily dose of literature" and the compelling urge to sit at his desk and dream. Contemplating his recent court case, he also speaks out against censorship and attempts to understand his changing position in the world. This book is written in a delightfully simple and persuasive style; according to Pamuk, all a writer needs is "paper, a pen and the optimism of a child looking at the world for the first time". On the evidence of the apparently effortless beauty of this book, it is hard to disagree.
(by Aimee Shalan, The Guardian, Saturday 27 September 2008)
(Pamuk's Other Colours – a collection of non-fiction and a story — was published in the UK in September 2007)


2. Snow (Turkish title : Kar) by Ferit Orhan Pamuk (2004)

Snow (Turkish: Kar) is a novel by Turkish author Ferit Orhan Pamuk. It was published in Turkish in 2002 and in English (translated by Maureen Freely) in 2004. The story encapsulates many of the political and cultural tensions of modern Turkey and successfully combines humor, social commentary, mysticism, and a deep sympathy with its characters.
Although the novel is set in the Turkish city of Kars, it, in part, is based on a suicide epidemic among teenage girls in the city of Batman.
Plot summary :
Though most of the early part of the story is told in the third person from Ka's point of view, an omniscient narrator sometimes makes his presence known, posing as a friend of Ka's who is telling the story based on Ka's journals and correspondence. This narrator sometimes provides the reader with information before Ka knows it or foreshadows later events in the story.
Ka is a poet, who returns to Turkey after 12 years of political exile in Germany. A friend on a newspaper in Istanbul suggests that he go to the town of Kars to investigate the recent suicides of a number of young women in the area. Kars, near Turkey's eastern border of Armenia and Georgia, is a hotbed of controversy among local Muslims, as suicide is forbidden in Islam.
 

3. Face to Face (Turkish title: Bir Gün, published in 2005) by Ayşe Kulin (republished in 2008 by Everest Yayınları in English language translation by John W. Baker)


Zelha is married off to a 40-year-old widower who already has children of his own. She does however appear to be happy, moves with him to Ankara and the couple have three children. Her husband is a Kurdish member of parliament, and when he runs into trouble, Zelha herself locks horns with the world of politics; she dedicates herself to his cause, gets herself voted into parliament and before long, she is arrested for issuing separatist statements and she is sentenced to a prison term.
The women's dialogue does not only revolve around Zelha's fate, but also illuminates Nevra's highly contradictory existence. The reader discovers many details about Nevra, who leads the modern life of an open-minded Turkish woman. Not that this made things easier for her. Although she is initially happy with her husband, her relationship fails when Nevra falls in love with another married man, and is ground down by the monotony of her marriage.
(Kulin, born in 1941, is very well known in Turkey as a writer of novels, short stories and biographies. Her works are best sellers, and the novel "Bir Gün" published in 2005 has already been translated into English. Kulin has been awarded numerous prizes and people in Turkey listen attentively to what she has to say – especially on controversial matters such as this.)

 

4. Last Train to Istanbul  (Turkish title: Nefes Nefese, published in 2002) by Ayşe Kulin (republished in 2006 by Everest Yayınları in English language translation by John W. Baker)


When Selva, the daughter of one of the few remaining Ottoman Pashas, falls in love with Rafael, a young Jewish man, their families are against their marriage and disown them. Together they go to live in France, but happsiness eludes them there too. With the advent of the Second World War they get caught up in Hitler`s web of terror. While the Nazi grip tightens around them, they live with the fear of being rounded up and sent to a concentration camp. At the same time Turkey is desperately trying to avoid being drawn in to the war. walking the tightrope between the Axis and the Allies very carefully. In this new novel Ayşe Kulin successfully follows through both the developments in her country during the war and the lives of Selva and Rafael in Europe. The story moves back and forth between Istanbul and Marseilles, Ankara and Cairo and Paris, to Berlin and back to Istanbul. In so doing it also highlights the courageous work of the Turkish diplomants who risked their lives to save hundreds of Jews stranded in Europe from being massacred by the Nazis... All of Ayşe Kulin`s novels are page turners and this one is no exception. It is a novel about love and escape, interwoven with the history of one of Europe`s most tumultuous times...

 

5. Aylin  (Turkish title: Adı Aylin, published in 1997) by Ayşe Kulin

(republished in 2007 by Remzi Kitabevi in English language translation by Dara Çolakoğlu)


The novel tells the story of a woman – Aylin Devrimel who is the daughter of a well known family whose descendants were from Cretan Mustafa Naili Pasha (nicknamed Crazy Mustafa Naili Pasha).


6. The Idle Years  (Turkish title: Avare Yıllar, published in 1950) by Orhan Kemal

(republished in 2008 by Everest Yayınları in English language translation by Cengiz Lugal)


Told by an author who believes in his people, The Idle Years is the story of the. fears, flights and returns of the individual in his struggle to find the truth as he matures into adulthood after a difficult childhood.Written by Orhan Kemal - an author who skillfully depicts "the human condition" in all of his novels -after My Father's House, The Idle Years is also the story of enlightenment...Orhan KemaTs titles are amongst those rare treasures one encounters in life. Only a few other authors can impress anil shape the reader like he does.Orhan Kemal shows us the way to gain hope and he optimistic again.

7. Nazim Hikmet Ran’s Selected Poems by PARICHAYA -UNITY PUBLICATION

NAZIM HIKMET
There are some men who do not die. It is as impossible to kill them as it is toimprison laughter, to tie a noose round the neck of happiness, or to plunge adagger into the heart of a song.
Nazim Hikmet was put in solitary confinement in a Turkish dungeon by aGovernment which hated his poems. He was seriously ill with a heart diseasetowards the end of his long confinement on a prison term of 23 years. The TurkishGovernment thought they had finished with Nazim Hikmet.
Imagine their disappointment when they found they had imprisoned only half the man! For had he not himself written to his doctor:

"If the half of my heart is here, doctor,
The other half is in China
With the Red Army advancing towards the Yellow River."
Nazim Hikmet was denied newspapers, letters, visitors. Yet he addressed hisfriends in his poems, Ahmet the driver, and Yakup the schoolteacher, and he wentback into the ancient history of his country and sang of the hero, Galip Usta.
Only one half of his heart suffered with ANGINA PECTORIS; the other half"beat with the most distant star." The flesh and blood that the massive stones ofhis Turkish jail could not grind to dust, addressed itself to children and old men,saying:
"We will see happy days, children,
We will see happy days. . . .. .”
He knew that his audience was the simple, ever-growing, ever-loving, peopleof the world. His voice rang out from his dungeon, his poems travelled on scrapsof paper throughout his country, crossed the seas and brought fire to the hearts ofall men.
He sang of the loves and desires of simple men, who wanted to "eat at awhite-clothed table," and he also sang with the fierce determination of men whohave had a lifetime of suffering and who are determined to drag the sun out of thecruel heart of a jungle society:
"Victory will be snatched with teeth and nails"
“And nothing will be forgiven."
Last year, the year in which Nazim Hikmet was awarded the International Peace Prize, the Turkish Government was forced by a world-wide wave of pro-tests to free the man they could not kill.
And their defeat is the victory of all men who love children and sailing-boats and violins.
March 31, 1952 David Cohen
They Burn the Thistles  (Turkish title: İnce Memet II, published in 1969) by Orhan Kemal (republished in 1972 in English language translation by Edouard Roditi, also Margret E. Platon)

8. They Burn the Thistles - Ince Memed II

(Turkish: İnce Memed -means; Memed the Thin-) is a 1969 novel by Yaşar Kemal. It was Kemal's second novel in his İnce Memed tetralogy.

The first Ince Memed novel won the Varlik prize for that year (Turkey's highest literary prize) and earned Kemal a national reputation. In 1961, the book was translated into English by Edouard Roditi, thus gaining Kemal his first exposure to English-speaking readers. In 1984, the novel was freely adapted by Peter Ustinov into a film (also known as The Lion and the Hawk).
Until the publication of Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red and Snow, İnce Memed was the best-known Turkish novel published after World War II.
The Plot :
"They Burn the Thistles" is much the same as in the first novel "Memed, My Hawk", where Memed, a young boy from a village in Anatolia is abused and beaten by the villainous Abdi Agha, the local landowner. Having endured great cruelty towards himself and his mother, he finally escapes with his beloved, a girl named Hatche. Abdi Agha catches up with the young couple, but only manages to capture Hatche, while Memed is able to avoid his pursuers and runs into the mountains whereupon he joins a band of brigands and exacts revenge against his old adversary.


9. The Forty Rules of Love  (Turkish title: Aşk, published by Doğan Yayıncılık in 2009) by Elif Şafak

(republished in 2010 by Penguin Books in English language translation)


In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her 2007 novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives- one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz-that together incarnate the poet´s timeless message of love.
Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams´s search for Rumi and the dervish´s role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love. She is also taken with Shams´s lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi´s story mirrors her own and that Zahara-like Shams-has come to set her free.


10. The Flea Palace  (Turkish title: Bit Palas, published by Metis in 2002) by Elif Şafak

(republished in 2005 by Marion Boyars in English language translation by Müge Göçek)

Book Description
Set within a once-stately apartment block in Istanbul, The Flea Palace tells the story of Bonbon Palace, built by a Russian emigre, for his wife at the end of the Tsarist reign, now sadly delapidated, flea-infested and home to ten different individuals and their families...
By turns comic and tragic, The Flea Palace is an outstanding original novel driven by an overriding sense of social justice.


From the Back Cover
Shafak uses the narrative structure of A Thousand and One Nights to construct a story-within-a-story, as the mystery of the apartments stolen garbage is considered from a variety of perspectives. There is the narrator, a womanizing, raki-swilling academic with a penchant for Kierkegaard; Hygiene Tijen, the clean freak , and her lice-ridden daughter Su; madly flamboyant Ethel, a lapsed Jew in search of true love, and the charmingly naive Blue Mistress whose personal secret is just one of many hidden within the confines of the building. Add to this a strange, intensifying stench, the cause of which is revealed at the end of the book, and we have a metaphoric conduit for the cultural and spiritual decay at the heart of Istanbul.

 

11. The Missing Rose  (Turkish title: Kayıp Gül, published by Timaş Yayınları in 2009) by Serdar Özkan

(republished in 2009 by Timaş Yayınları in English language translation)

Every few decades an inspiring story comes along and touches the hearts and souls of readers across borders−like St. Exupery's Little Prince, Hesse's Siddarta, Bach's Seagull and Coelho's Alchemist...The Missing Rose is such and has inspired and enchanted readers from different cultures all over the world.
This is the story of Diana a young woman whose desire for the approval and praise of others has made her let go of her own dreams and values. Her mother's deathbed confession that Diana has a twin sister calls her to a mysterious journey−a journey to a wondrous rose garden in Istanbul where she will be invited to converse with the roses.


12. Harem – A Journey of Love  (Turkish title: Harem – Aşkın Yolculuğu, published by Timaş Yayınları in 2010) by Aslı Sancar

 

(republished in 2010 by Timaş Yayınları in English language translation)
Harem is a unique love story, a journey of love that transcends human bounds and leads to the Source of Love…  
Set in the rich and authentic ambience of Ottoman harem life, HAREM is the story of the trials, struggles and eventual victories of two women: Didenur, kidnapped as a young girl from her Circassian village and sold into slavery to the Ottoman palace; Jamila an Ottoman elite and wife to Kamil Bey, a palace physician.
Written by award-winning author Aslı Sancar, HAREM is a novel that will engage both your heart and mind.

13. Burning Windows  by Belma Katip (published in 2009 by Adalı Yayınları in English language translation)


The year is 1968. Susan Kimball, an unworldly American on her first visit to Istanbul, meets an older Turkish woman who invites her to stay in her family's villa on the Princes' Islands. Looking forward to a quiet holiday in this exotic and romantic setting, Susan soon finds herself lost in a maze of family plots, hatreds and rivalries. Plump and self-deprecating, she is an unlikely heroine, but Susan plunges in with humor and enthusiasm to unravel and deal with the complex, baffling drama unfolding around her.


14. Mevlânâ’s Life, Works by Dr. Erdoğan Erol (published in 2005 by Nüve Kültür Merkezi in English language translation)

The book tells the life of great Turkish Philosopher Mevlânâ Celâleddin Rûmî and gives some samples from his poems and put forward the roots of his thoughts:“I came here to unify, not to divide”, Mevlânâ


15. Bliss  (Turkish title: Mutluluk, published in 2002) by Ömer Zülfü Livaneli

(republished in 2007 by St. Martins Press in English language translation by Çiğdem Aksoy Fromm)

 


The novel tells the story of 15 year old Meryem and her cousin Cemal, a onetime Comando, who has been given the task of killing Meryem after she is found guilty of dishonoring her family, a sad tale on the honour killings.
A 15 year old girl called Meryem who lives in a rural village in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Her simple, conventional way of life changes dramatically after her uncle, a sheikh in a dervish order, rapes her – and condemns her to death for shaming the family. Asked to carry out the “honor killing” is his son Cemal, a commando in the Turkish army. So begins a long, mystifying voyage for Meryem as her shell-shocked cousin ushers her to the shining metropolis of Istanbul....
The author Livaneli, a former exile who was elected to Turkey’s Parliament in 2002, takes great pains to reveal his country’s complex culture, but the result often reads like a cautionary fable.