Who is Yahya Kemal Beyatlı?

Who is yahya Kemal
Who is yahya Kemal

Yahya Kemal Beyatlı (2 December 1884, Skopje - 1 November 1958, Istanbul), Turkish poet, writer, politician, diplomat. His birth name is Ahmed Agâh.

It is one of the greatest representatives of Turkish poetry in the Republican period. His poems are bridges between Divan literature and modern poetry. It is considered one of the Four Aruzcular in the history of Turkish literature (The others are Tevfik Fikret, Mehmet Âkif Ersoy and Ahmet Haşim). In his health, he is a poet who has been accepted among the leading actors of Turkish literature but has not published any books.

The newly established Republic of Turkey has assumed political tasks such as seats and bürokratlık.

He was born on 2 December 1884 in Skopje [1]. His mother, Nakiye Hanım, the nephew of the famous divan poet Leskofçalı Galip; his father was previously the mayor of Skopje, and he was the executive officer in the Skopje Courthouse at that time.

He started his primary education in Yeni Mektep, which is part of the Sultan Murat Complex in Skopje in 1889. He then continued his school in Edeb, again in Skopje.

He settled in Thessaloniki with his family in 1897. The death of her mother, whom she loved and influenced from tuberculosis, affected her very much. After her father remarried, she left her family and returned to Skopje, but soon returned to Thessaloniki. He wrote poems under the pseudonym of cannabis.

He was sent to Istanbul in 1902 to continue his secondary education. He started to write poems in the magazines Servet-i Fünuncu İrtika and Malumat with the pseudonym Agâh Kemal.

With the influence of the French novels he read and his interest in the Young Turks in 1903, II. Abdülhamit escaped from Istanbul under pressure and went to Paris.

Paris years
During Paris, he met with Young Turks like Ahmet Rıza, Sami Paşazade Sezai, Mustafa Fazıl Pasha, Prince Sabahattin, Abdullah Cevdet, Abdülhak Şinasi Hisar. He quickly learned French in the city he went without speaking any language.

In 1904, he enrolled in the Political Science department of Sorbonne University. He was influenced by historian Albert Sorel, who taught at the school. Throughout his school life he was interested in theater as well as lessons; did research on history in libraries; He studied the books of French poets. As a result of his studies in the field of history, he concluded that the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 should be considered the beginning of Turkish history. When his researches and social activities prevented him from spending time on classes and being successful in exams, he switched to the Faculty of Letters, but did not graduate from this department. In his nine years in Paris, his history, poetry and personality developed.

Return to Istanbul
He returned to Istanbul in 1913. He taught history and literature at Darüşşafaka High School; He taught civilization history at Medresetü'l-Preacher for a while. It was deeply upset that Skopje and Rumelia fell from the hands of the Ottoman State in these years.

He met personalities such as Ziya Gökalp, Tevfik Fikret, Yakup Kadri. In 1916, with the advice of Ziya Gökalp, he entered Darülfünuna as the History of Civilization. In the following years, he taught History of Garp Literature, History of Turkish Literature. Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, who remained a very close friend until the end of his life, became his student in Darülfünunu.

On the other hand, Yahya Kemal, who continues his activities in the summer; He wrote in newspapers and magazines on Turkish language and Turkish history. He wrote articles in the Peyam Newspaper under the title of Accounting Under the Pine, under the pseudonym Süleyman Nadi. He published his poems, which he has been writing since 1910, in Yeni Mecmua in 1918; He was among the leading actors of Turkish literature.

Journal magazine
After the Armistice of Mondros, he gathered young people and established a magazine called “Dergâh”. The magazine's staff included names such as Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Nurullah Ataç, Ahmet Kutsi Tecer, and Abdulhak Şinasi Hisar. The only poem published in this magazine, which Yahya Kemal is interested in, is “Voice verse”. However, he wrote many prose articles for the journal; With these articles, he supported the National Struggle in Anatolia and tried to keep the Kuvay-ı Milliye spirit alive in Istanbul. His similar articles were also published in the newspapers Ileri and Tevhid-i Efkar.

Meet Mustafa Kemal
Yahya Kemal took part in the delegation sent by Darülfünun to congratulate Mustafa Kemal, who came to Bursa from Izmir after the Turkish War of Independence ended with the victory of the Turks. He accompanied Mustafa Kemal on his way from Bursa to Ankara; he received an invitation from him to come to Ankara.

This proposal of Yahya Kemal, who proposed to give Mustafa Kemal an honorary doctorate at the meeting of the professor of Darülfünun Literature Madrasah on September 19, 1922, was unanimously accepted.

Ankara years
Yahya Kemal, who went to Ankara in 1922, was the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Hâkimiyet-i Milliye. That year, a consultant was appointed to the Turkish delegation in the Lausanne negotiations. After returning from Lausanne in 1923, II. He was elected as the deputy of Urfa for the term TBMM. He was a deputy until 1926.

Diplomatic missions
In 1926, he was appointed as an ambassador to Warsaw in place of Ibrahim Tali Öngören. He traveled to Portugal as ambassador to Lisbon in 1930. He was also assigned to the Spanish Embassy. The second literary artist who worked in Madrid became a sefir (the first is Samipaşazade Sezai). King of Spain XIII. He formed a close friendship with Alfonso. In 1932, his post at the embassy of Madrid was terminated.

Re-entry to Parliament
Yahya Kemal, who first served as a deputy of Urfa between 1923 and 1926, entered parliamentary elections after returning from his diplomatic post in Madrid in 1933. He became a deputy of Yozgat in 1934. He received the surname “Beyatlı” after the Surname Law that was issued that year. In the next election period, he entered the parliament as a deputy of Tekirdağ. He was elected deputy from Istanbul in 1943. He lived in Ankara Palas during his deputy.

Pakistan embassy
Yahya Kemal could not enter parliament in the 1946 elections and was appointed ambassador to Pakistan, which had just declared independence, in 1947. He worked as an embassy in Karachi until retirement from the age limit. He returned home in 1949.

Retirement years
After retirement, he visited İzmir, Bursa, Kayseri, Malatya, Adana, Mersin and its surroundings. He went on trips to Athens, Cairo, Beirut, Damascus and Tripoli.

He settled in Park Hotel in Istanbul and lived the last nineteen years of his life in room 165 of this hotel.

He received the Gift of İnönü in 1949.

In 1956, Hürriyet newspaper started publishing all of his poems by including one of his poems every week.

Death and after
He went to Paris in 1957 for treatment because of some form of intestinal inflammation he was caught with. A year later, he died on Saturday, November 1, 1958 at Cerrahpaşa Hospital. Her body was buried in Aşiyan Cemetery.

He did not want to book his poems on the grounds that he did not perfect his poems. Upon his death on November 1, 1958, at the meeting of the Istanbul Conquest Society on November 07, 1959, the establishment of Yahya Kemal Institute was decided upon the proposal of Nihad Sami Banarlı and his works were published.

In 1961, Yahya Kemal Museum was opened in Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Paşa Madrasah, located in Çarşıkapı, Divanyolu.

A statue made by Hüseyin Gezer was placed in Maçka Park in Istanbul in 1968.

Literary understanding
Yahya Kemal, although he has also written in the field of prose, is a literary writer who has made a name as a poet. In terms of shape, the Divan used the poetry tradition and the Aruz meter. In terms of language, he has poems in two different understandings: one of them is to write poetry with a simple, natural and living Turkish according to his era (especially the first edition of such poems was collected in his poetry book titled “Our Own Sky Dome” in 1961); the other is the idea of ​​expressing the events of the old times of history in the language of its age (the first edition exhibited this understanding in the poetry book "The Wind of the Old Poetry" made in 1962).

The following sentence of Mallarmé, which he encountered in his years in France, is thought to be effective in finding the language of poetry that Yahya Kemal was looking for: “The doorman of the Louvre Palace speaks the best French.” Yahya Kemal, after thinking long about this sentence, captures the language to be used in his poems; The doorman of the Louvre Palace is not a literate intellectual, nor is it an ignorant who does not read or write; In this case, he understands that the "middle layer", that is "the people" can speak the best French, and pays attention to the middle layer. With the influence of these thoughts, the poet turned towards writing plain Turkish poetry twenty-five or thirty years before the language reform.

Turkey alongside the poems he told the Turkish behind the Ottoman Turkish with poems by Yahya Kemal tell their ancient language and poetic forms, perception as a whole Turkish literature and history of the events of the days of yore are thought to express the language of the era. Instead of rejecting the old, it has been in an effort to accept it and re-interpret it as it is and to carry it to the present. Selimnâme, who narrated Yavuz Sultan Selim and the events of his era in a chronological way from the throne to his death, as an example of the poems he wrote with the thought of expressing the events that happened in the past periods, from the throne to his death, Çubuklu Gazeli, Ezân-ı Muhammedi, Vedâ Gazeli Gazel can be given to the Janissary who conquered Istanbul.

Believing that the poem is based on meter, rhyme and inner harmony, almost all poems of the poet were written with prosody meter. The only poem he wrote in syllable size is "Ok". His writing all his poetry with prosody and his respect for verse brought shape perfection to his poetry. According to him, poetry is composed of tune, not ordinary sentences, so he needs to be read by voice. Words need to be chosen by ear and their place in the line. According to him, it is possible that a verse is poetry, written in harmony and meticulousness. For him, “poetry is a music separate from music”. As a result of this understanding, he has worked on his poems for years and has not considered his poems complete until he found the most appropriate words and success for the verses that he believed did not turn into tune.

One of the most obvious aspects of Yahya Kemal's poetry language is his “synthesisism”. The poets he studied during his nine years in Paris (Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine, Paul Valery, Charles Baudelaire, Gerard de Nerval, Victor Hugo, Malherbe, Leconte de Lisle, Rimbaud, Jose Maria de Heredia, Jean Moreas, Theophile Gautier, De Banville, Lamartine, Henry de Regnier, Edgar Poe, Maeterlinck, Verhaeren) created a new poem structure by making an original synthesis of its effects. Some of his poems are considered classic, some are romantic, some are symbolist, and many are considered parnian. He did not imitate French poetry, he kneaded what he learned from there with his own understanding of poetry and reached new interpretations. One of the comments as a result of this synthesis is the understanding of “White Language”, which has been taken care of to be contrived and has a view of writing poetry with words that contain natural and sincere meanings.

A wide Ottoman geography was found in Yahya Kemal's poem. The places that are remembered in his poems are outside the borders of the new Turkish state such as Çaldıran, Mohaç, Kosovo, Niğbolu, Varna, Belgrade, which were once Ottoman properties or contacted by the Ottomans. Although not related to Turkish history, he has been in the poems of Andalusia, Madrid, Altor, Paris and Nis, where Yahya Kemal has seen and lived. Turkey borders of Bursa, Konya, Izmir, Van, Istanbul, Maras, Kayseri, Malazgirt, Amid (Diyarbakir), passes in Tekirdag name poem, but not on other cities, has focused intensively on their representatives that Istanbul. Like Üsküdar, Atik Valide, and Kocamustafapaşa, he poetized the districts of old Istanbul. The Süleymaniye Mosque was the center of the perception of Istanbul.


  • Our Own Sky Dome (1961)
  • With the Wind of Old Poetry (1962)
  • Speaking of Rubai and Khayyam's Rubai in Turkish (1963)
  • About Literature
  • Saint Istanbul (1964)
  • Eğil Mountains
  • Moses of History
  • Political Stories
  • Political and Literary Portraits
  • My Childhood, My Youth, My Political and Literary Memories (1972)
  • Letters-Articles
  • Unfinished Poems
  • My Very Dear Beybabacığım: Postcards from Yahya Kemal to His Father (1998)
  • The Ship Has Been Silent for Fifty Years: Yahya Kemal at the 50th Anniversary of His Death with His Special Letters and Correspondence
  • Spring in Eren Village


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