December’s works are now live and can be found below and throughout the postings on the English homepage!

As İlkyaz, we work to introduce three young writers every month. We translate these works, which are be made up of a short stories or poems, into English and endeavour to introduce them to readers outside of Turkey. This exchange, we hope, will create new audiences for our writers in the world arena and introduce them to a global network of the world’s literary figures.

In December, we initiated this effort with Norwegian PEN‘s lead. After PEN Germany, PEN Belgium/Flanders continued the very same role for the month of February. For March, PEN French Centre took over the role of promoting our young writers abroad. For the writings of April, we collaborated with PEN South Africa. For May, Scottish PEN took over the role of amplifying our young writers voices within their membership and audience, and PEN Catalan promoted our writers for June to their own members and audience. For July our partnership reached out to Russia, in collaboration with PEN Moscow Centre! August followed with a collaboration with PEN Canada,  September with PEN Venezuela, October with Croatian PEN,and November with PEN Wales/Cymru.

For our December writings our new partner is Danish PEN! We wholeheartedly thank Danish PEN and specifically the General Secretary of the centre, Mille Rode for agreeing to translate our writers works  and publish them in Denmark! You can reach the individual pages of our writers works on the Danish PEN’s platform here: Gökhan Sevim, Asil Çam, Mehmet Ali Taş

Ilkyaz’s new Inıtatıve “FiveFaces*” is live!

Through “FiveFaces” we aim to reflect through young literature how we have many commonalities amidst our differences and how our common notions can carry various meanings by gathering 500 word insights from five writers living in different parts of Turkey on the same topic. By choosing through voting, five names out of writers who send short pieces as an answer to our call, we hope to externalise their efforts of gaining insight into realities they observe around them, thereby to establish a literary mosaic of the country’s sceneries from different cities.

We will continue to build transnational bridges by translating these mutual writings into English and provide a window into Turkey for our increasing readers of world citizens.

Due to both our capacity and in order to avoid a rush on these efforts, this coagulation will not be subjected to a monthly deadline. The first word of choice is “BAKKAL” the translation of which is: “A very common grocery store set up in every other street in Turkey that would be familiar with the residents and often run a tab for them. Varying in size, the shop is generally much smaller than a supermarket. The word can also be used to indicate the person who is the owner of or in charge of the shop.” We proudly present our first five writers and their writings below!

The next word will be “SOBA” which is a traditional stove used that has a long standing tradition of being used to cook and warm houses up in Turkey. It has also been subject to countless accidents due to being outdated or used improperly. If you are a writer living in Turkey and have experience you wish to share on the subject, you can send us your text of 500 words on the feeling, experience, memory, moment or fictional story the word inspires. The only limitation in this endeavour is to not stray far from the feeling of the word within the Turkish context. You can send us your pieces through our e-mail address:

If you haven’t yet had a chance to read, you can reach October’s writings here.

Don’t forget to check out our writers under the age of 15,  in “15-“, our archive of stories from everyday lives in “Human Portraits”,  the collaborative work of young poet Suhan Lalettayin and painter Zeynep Mar at “Literature +” and renown writer’s  reading suggestions to young writers!

This month’s reading recommendations for young writers come from renown Catalan writer/poet and PEN International’s Executive Director Carles Torner! 

You can follow our new blog posts, Spotify music list and new submissions on the mainpage of our website.  


Mehmet Ali Taş – Karabağlar Panaroma

On the horizon of religion, a language native to rumors is spoken. Silence heads to conceal the factory birthing lands. Virtue: a rumble calls suburbs into being, for being in the city. Seated, the mouth of ignorance cracks against the early sun. An interpreter translates the siren sounds to righteous sleep as “Good morning to you the beds of banknotes blessed by virginity.”
– Nicely said, no-?-.

About the author: I am 23 years old. I was born in Buca, İzmir. I am a college student. The place where I grew up is actually similar to what I described above. Seyhan neighbourhood. This neighbourhood is not tied with Karabağlar but is only seperated by it with a dried up riverbed. This area, is way different than the stereotypical image of İzmir.

Gökhan Sevim – Bir Bardak Balık / A Glass of Fish / Et Glas Fisk

Yes, the cup was uncovered and they could see each other from the cups lined up across from each other. The yellow beta looked at his brother for a while before suddenly jumping over the water with all his power. Seiy was surprised and headed to the bottom of the cup to watch his brother and see what would happen. His brother was convulsing on the white and moist tile. He was trying to push himself up or be noticed by the humans. The only thing noticing the fluttering was his brother.

About the author: I was born in Istanbul in 1987 and still live in Istanbul. I started writing in my own way during my university years where as a reader my affinity to literature grew. Since that period I try to make as much time as possible to photography and writing, two of my favourite things to do. I am trying to unite my love for nature and animals with my passion to write for stories and novels. I am working in a private sector technology firm with the dream that one day I can tend to literature and nature in full.

Asil Çam- Son Gün / The Last Day / Den Sidste Dag

Stairs infront of you lead down to a park, in this neighborhood you either climb down or up. There’s a marketplace at your feet concealed by large, white umbrellas and patched caliches. Shouting, tomatoes and cucumbers turn you from your way. In the crowd and under the covers you can’t see the sky. So you walk on from the pavement. The road that feels curved to you is straight for the ants. They tend to their work in a hurry and in line. You want to carry the ant trying to haul a piece of leaf further down on the road it’s likely headed.

About the author: Biographical information was not disclosed.

Bunları da Sevebilirsiniz

Sırtında kabuğu bile olmayan bir kaplumbağa gibi hissediyorum, Emily. Sana ve olmayan binlercesine yazıyorum. Düşüncelerimi tatlı küçük kayıklara oturtuyorum, Üflüyorum, üflüyorum yelkenlerine. Ama niye, niye yazmak Emily? Biliyor musun artık yoksunuz diye, inanmayacaksın, Kendimi suçlamıştım ve Öldürmek istemiştim sizleri geri getirirse diye. Bir gün bir baktım kazığa bağlamışlar beni yakıyorlar, Aha ben de o cadılardanım. …


For February we reached out to renown writer from Turkey and PEN International board member Burhan Sönmez to ask for his reading suggestions to young writers and why he picked them.   1. Elıas Canettı / Crowds and Power Original Title: Masse und Macht “A pıece of work almost lıke an encyclopedıa of lıfe. A rare book, …


İlkyaz ile her ay öncelikli olarak üç genç yazarı tanıtıyoruz sizlere. Bir öykü veya birkaç şiirden oluşacak bu eserleri İlkyaz gönüllüleri olarak İngilizce’ye çeviriyor ve dünya kamuoyuyla tanıştırmak için çabalıyoruz. Yeni sayımız için seçilen yazarları aşağıda bulabilirsiniz! Bir seneyi aşkındır seçtiğimiz isimlerin yazılarını her ay dünyanın farklı bir yerinde konumlanan PEN merkezinden birinin o ülkenin …

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