Famous Turkish author, poet and columnist Attila İlhan, who served Turkish literature for more than 50 years, passed away as a result of a heart attack on Monday night in his home in Istanbul at the age of 80. His funeral will be held tomorrow in Istanbul.
İlhan, elder brother of famous actress Çolpan İlhan, was born on June 15, 1925, in Izmir's Menemen district. He completed his primary and secondary educationAt in İzmir.
At 16 years of age he was caught with Nazım Hikmet's banned poems and expelled from school. He went to prison for two months. He was banned from studying in any school in Turkey but regained his right to education in 1944 and attended Istanbul Işık High School. In high school he was awarded second prize for his poem Cebbaroğlu Mehemmed in the Republican People's Party (CHP) Poetry Competition. He graduated from high school in 1946 and went on to study at Istanbul University Faculty of Law, also working for newspapers and magazines at the same time. His first poems began to appear in magazines like Yığın and Gün.
He released his first poetry book, Duvar (Wall), in 1948. Later he cut short his university education and went to Paris. He returned to Turkey in 1950 and worked for Gerçek newspaper. He stayed in Paris again between 1951 and 1952 and studied French and Marxism during this period. After returning to Turkey he reviewed films and wrote screenplays under the pen name Ali Kaptanoğlu in Vatan newspaper and later worked as editor in chief of Demokrat İzmir newspaper.
He moved to Ankara in 1973 and to work as a consultant of Bilgi Publishing House. He stayed in Ankara until 1981 and moved to Istanbul again after completing his novel “Fena Hadle Leman “(Absolutely Leman). He worked at daily Milliyet and Gelişim Publishing House while in Istanbul. From 1993 to 1996 he wrote for Meydan newspaper. He had been working as a columnist at daily Cumhuriyet since 1996 but left his position there a short time ago due to health problems.
His works of art:
İlhan has achieved distinction with his poems, novels and essays. Resolutely outside the “Garip” (strange) and “İkinci Yeni” (The Second New) literary movements, his is a poetry of exotic imagery, intricate verbal construction and exuberant romanticism that combines elements of folk and Ottoman court poetry.
His major poetry collections are “Duvar” (The Wall/1948), “Sisler Bulvarı” (Boulevard in the Fog/1954), “Yağmur Kaçağı” (Fugitive from the Rain), “Bela Çiçeği” (Flower of Misery/1962), “Tutuklunun Günlüğü” (Diary of a Man Under Arrest ) - winner of the 1974 Turkish Language Association Poetry Award), “Korkunun Krallığı” (Kingdom of Fear/1987) and “Kimi Sevsem, Sensin...” (Whoever I Love Is You/2001). His major novels are “Sokaktaki Adam” (Man on the Street/1953), “Bıçağın Ucu” (Knife's Edge/1973), “Sırtlan Payı” (Hyena's Share) winner of the 1975 Yunus Nadi Novel Award), and “Fena Halde Leman” (Absolutely Leman/1980).