January’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 partner was Danish PEN.

Our new collaborator for the month of January is Belarusian PEN! We wholeheartedly thank Belarusian PEN for agreeing to cooperate with us in arranging the translation and publishing of our young writers in Belarusian. We’d like to extend our gratitude to the President of the Centre Tatiana Nadjbaj and the General Secretary, Hannah Komar! We will publish the works in Belarusian simultenously upon the completion of the translator’s work and make an announcement on our website to share the related links. 

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: ilkyaz2018@gmail.com

If you haven’t yet had a chance to read, you can reach December’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 comes from renown Turkish writer and President of PEN Turkey Zeynep Oral

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

 

Açelya Kızgın – Şen Kahkahalı Ölüm Sokağı / Death Street With Jovial Laughter

I counted. I’ve been alive exactly twothousandfivehundredandsixtyfive days. During the earlier
part of of these thousands of days I had stepped out on this street, bought some vegetables
from an Armanian greengrocer, shopped from a cornershop owned by a Greek. I’ve been a
child amongst monsieurs and madams, jumped rope in front of the door, drank boza* from the
bozacı on the corner, and haven’t been afraid of the darkest corners of the darkest nights. And
on the majority of the days not so long ago out of the thousands, I escaped the rotten, moldy,
dirty clove, sewer, mussels flavored, gunpowder smelling days inside my home.

About the author: I was born in 2001 Istanbul. I got into Robert College in Istanbul after finishing my primary school education, where I will be graduating from in June of 2020. I started my writing adventure at the age of 12 from a short story competition I entered by the guidance of a teacher of mine. I was the editor of the school newspaper which is published in English and it’s literary magazine named ODA at Robert College. In 2019 I received the second place award from Suna Kıraç Story Competition. In the same year, my essay “The Despondency of Intellectuals in Adalet Ağaoğlu’s Novels” was found worthy of ranking by the Sainte Pulchérie High School and I received my award from renown Turkish author Oya Baydar.

Burak Öztürk – Arta Kalan / What’s Left Behind

However back then, the world was such a small place for me and it seemed as though everybody knew each other from somewhere. I hadn’t lost anyone up to that point or been abandoned; a little kid who thought the largest number was 100 and that you could buy anything you wanted with returnable coke bottles.

About the author:Born in 1994. Has been interested in literature, philosophy and cinema from an early age and prepared works in these fields. He is currently continuing his studies in Dokuz Eylül University / Fine Arts Faculty/ Film, Design and Writing Department.

Sema Duman- Günbatımı Müzesi / Museum Of Sunsets

Can one describe hands 

of loving sunsets,

the swaying of its sound,

Melancholy of having to grow it’s flowers,

Can one describe

How your eyelash long to be the sky?

If I hide the height in paintings,

Would it reach 

Would it stay in the wind of traces?

About the author: Biographical information was not disclosed.

Önceki / Previous Şen Kahkahalı Ölüm Sokağı / The Street of Death Wıth Jovıal Laughter
Sonraki / Next İlkyaz Ocak Yazılarıyla Yayında!