Country and Patriotizm in the Works of Yahya Kemal

Author : Tevfik SÜTÇÜ
Number of pages : 2684-2717


Country is a notion usually taking the form of positive adjectives in people’s hearts as in the statements “this land, this geography, this homeland, this motherland and etc.” even though these statements may imply different political views. The situation Ottoman got into after falling behind against the states in the West after XVIII. Century and especially the developments in politics in West, opinions such as freedom, equality, justice, constitutional monarchy, nationality that became worldwide caused the XIX. Century Ottoman intellectuals to become more sensitive to these different ideas. This sensitiveness towards country found its place in the works of Yahya Kemal who was a poet of an era in which such situations took place intensively. The notion “country” makes its appearance as an accumulation, a saintly existence, a mother and sometimes a lover which have very intensive and deep meanings in Yahya Kemal, one who was one of the biggest poets of Turkish literature. Yahya Kemal accepts everywhere where Turkish Literature exists as country. Thus for a land to be country, it’s connected to the adventure that the nation saw through on that land and especially to the martyrs who witnessed the history. Üsküp where Yahya Kemal had to abandon due to war when he was little left painful scars and a deep feeling of longing in his life. He deeply understands the meaning of longing, the importance of country in the time he was separated from his country. According to Yahya Kemal who says “country is a country if one can live freely on it,” Anatolia deserved independence with the struggles it put up village to village. This nation who colored the homeland with its red bloods regards defending the country as his debt of honor. Yahya Kemal also has a big love and admiration towards İstanbul. He presents the whole country into attention under the symbol of İstanbul. Yahya Kemal has been a poet who made us hear this love of country and that tick voice screaming this love, which our literature longs, once more in a time we needed most since Namık Kemal, along with bringing lots of innovations in the field of literature and preserving the bonds in an unbreakable way with our predecessors which broke.


Yahya Kemal, Contemporary Turkish Literature, Poem, Homeland, Patriotism.

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