In the Turkey of the 1930s, the peasants and villages had been a major concern and interest for the Republican intellectuals. As a matter of fact, a peasantist discourse, the so-called koyculuk, was widely accepted and disseminated by the Republican elites. This phenomenon could be observed in the activities and publications of the People's Houses, in the Village Institutes experience and in the ideological debates concerning the attempts at land reform during the interwar era. (1) In a nutshell, the ideology of peasantism denied class-based ideologies; aspired to a static, undifferentiated society; attempted to find a mass base for nationalism in a predominantly agrarian country while preempting grass-roots movements; feared and vilified socialist revolution; recognized the need to respond to the demands of the agrarian population in the troubled times of the Great Depression; aimed to consolidate the conservatism of the regime by relying on the supposedly conservative fabric of the Turkish peasants; and inspired a nationalist myth-making process that sought the "real" Turk in villages. Any inquiry into the intellectual history of peasantism, though, requires also taking into account peasantist leanings in Turkish literature. The main reason for this is that literature used to play a more significant role in Turkish intellectual life than it did in many other countries. For one thing, the omnipresent and restrictive censorship during the single-party era made it difficult to support and spread ideological positions through any medium other than literary works. The widespread perception among the intellectuals was that it was safer to express thoughts of opposition via literary works. Besides, the Turkish intelligentsia, like their nineteenth-century Russian counterparts, loved using literature as a way of expressing, defending and spreading their own ideological and historical views. (2) This tendency was complemented by the availability of readers who enjoyed picking up political and historiographical standpoints from literary works, especially from novels.
The first literary work which focused on village themes and chose villagers and village life as its topic goes back to the early 1890s. Nabizade Nazim's Kara Bibik, in fact a story of around forty pages, is the first fictional narrative which deals with the rural social problems of ignorance, poverty, landowner exploitation and usury, as well as the emotional and sexual behavior of the villagers. (3) Ebubekir Hazim Tepeyran's Kucuk Papa, published in 1910, presents the heavy tax burden of the peasants, the indifference of the officials and medical doctors towards the peasantry, the "backwardness" of Anatolia, the wretched conditions of the schools and roads, the problems of the draft and the like. (4)
After the establishment of modern Turkey, the number of literary works increased considerably; however, it should be noted that the so-called "peasantist literature" as a genre reached its peak not only in the single-party era, but from the early 1950s onwards. Nevertheless, despite their relative weakness, the early Republican literary works paved the way for this later flourishing of the peasantist genre. Novels and short stories from the single-party era offer rich opportunities for analyzing elite perceptions of the peasantry and village life. Many outstanding Turkish literary figures wrote on these issues and helped create a body of literary works that reflected their own worldviews rather than the actual conditions in the Turkish countryside. Especially important among these writers were Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Sabahattin Ali, and Memduh Pevket Esendal. They were not, however, simply complying with peasantist ideology, nor were they directly inspired by it. Moreover, each of these authors represented different agendas, concerns and perspectives on the same issues. In this article I shall examine these distinguished authors from the single-party era who represented different styles and perspectives as they related to village themes and the peasantry.
A Kemalist Outlook: Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu
Yakup Kadri's place in the development of the peasantist genre is unquestionably eminent. He is one of the most renowned Turkish literary figures of Republican Turkey. Because he was always a staunch Kemalist, his political and ideological concerns revolved around the interests of the state and bureaucracy rather than those of the people. Thus, his outlook was etatist and his approach bureaucratic. This feature is best seen in his novel Ankara, in which he envisions a fictitious future social and political life strictly dominated by the state. In his future society, everybody works for the state; all the workers are state employees; the harmony of the society is made possible only by the state, and all good comes from the state. (5) Interestingly, among the characters of the novel a mayor of Ankara who represents an "elected" rather than an "appointed" official becomes a target of criticism. In other words, as a representative of the bureaucratic orientation, Yakup Kadri seems intolerant when it comes to the "elected" people. (6) It is, therefore, fair to say that Yakup Kadri's ideas and approach, by and large, reflect the dominant circles of the bureaucracy of the time. This makes it all the more important that we take into consideration his views on village themes and the peasantry. His most appropriate literary work for our goal is Yaban, which we shall focus on shortly.
Yakup Kadri was born in Cairo in 1889, after which his family came to Manisa in western Turkey. He was a descendant of the well-known, aristocratic Karaosmanoglu family who owned vast lands in western Anatolia starting in the seventeenth century. (7) The influence of the family came not only from their wealth, but also from the bureaucratic posts that many family members held in the Ottoman local administration. Yakup Kadri in his youth took part in eminent literary circles of the Ottoman Empire such as the Edebiyat-i Cedide (New Literature) and Fecr-i Ati (Dawn of the New Age). Besides, he was one of the most prominent literary figures who became extensively familiar with western literature. (8)
Yakup Kadri actively participated in the War of Independence and later became a deputy minister in the Grand National Assembly while continuing his literary works. A close friend of Kemal Ataturk, a prominent member of the ruling circles and a staunch supporter and follower of Kemalism, (9) he was involved from 1932 to 1934 in publishing the famous journal Kadro, which aimed to give theoretical foundations for Kemalism. However, the journal was shut down by the government due to widespread claims that it espoused a harmful interpretation of Kemalism. (10) After having been forced to terminate his journal, Yakup Kadri was appointed to high diplomatic posts in several different countries, where he had to stay away from daily politics. (11) After the military takeover of 1960, he was again involved in politics in the Grand National Assembly (1964-69) and continued producing literary works until the end of his life in 1974.
Yakup Kadri's novel Yaban (Stranger) was one of the first in Republican Turkey to focus on the villagers and village life. (12) For many historians, literary or otherwise, Yaban marks a turning point in the development of the Turkish novel in that it was a manifesto calling for the Turkish intelligentsia to direct the attention of the nation to the villagers and village issues, remind the regime of the importance of the villagers as a social base for the new regime, and criticize the intelligentsia, who had ignored those issues. Yaban has been considered the first original village novel; it sparked great interest among the Turkish ruling elite, and many historians believe that the interest in village issues that began in the early 1930s is partly due to the impact of this novel. (13) Therefore, we need to take a close look at this novel and understand what it is that gives it such an outstanding character.
Yaban is the story of Ahmet Celal, a World War I veteran, an intellectual, and a member of an upper-class Ystanbul family who is forced to live in a small Anatolian village during the War of Independence (1918-1922) against the foreign occupation of Anatolia in the aftermath of a World War I defeat. The novel consists of the description of the village life and people through the eyes of Ahmet Celal and of his own internal psychological confrontations. There is no clear-cut, definite flow of events in the novel. In the beginning, Ahmet Celal has great expectations and hopes to unite with the people of Anatolia who, he thinks, represents the "real" Turkish nation. He expects respect from the villagers for his sacrifices during World War I. While he comes to the village with great hopes to develop relationships with the villagers, they consider him a "stranger." Thus begin Ahmet Celal's frustrations with the people, the village environment, and above all, with himself, that is, with the intelligentsia. The novel consists mostly of Ahmet Celal's confrontations with the village people, especially with their ignorance about the War of Independence. Whatever he does in order to communicate with the villagers, the result turns out to be a great frustration. Eventually he leaves the village since the foreign occupation reaches it. Ahmet Celal sets out again in order to contribute to the resistance forces.
Although Yaban belongs to the peasantist genre, it is by any measure unique. Whereas the later genre of village literature, which dominated Turkish novels and stories after 1950, depicts the countryside and the peasant in positive terms and usually makes a fetish of some characteristic of the countryside, Yaban offers quite a different depiction. The main character, Ahmet Celal, in fact, has contempt for the villagers and the social and natural environment of the village. But such a depiction of the countryside in no way means that Yakup Kadri wishes the reader to ignore this bothersome reality. On the contrary, he wants to show how bade the conditions are and urge the reader to do something about it.
From Yakup Kadri's description of an Anatolian village, one gets the impression that a static material and social life constitutes the basic characteristic of villages. Villagers, according to Ahmet Celal, are pre-social creatures who live in the primitiveness of the Stone Age. (14) The author in this respect does not see any significant difference between them and the villagers of thousands of years ago. These villagers are portrayed as a "people without history" since their village is basically the same as an ancient "Hittite ruin" and the people look like "broken sculptures that were just uncovered from the soil." (15) Likewise, Ahmet Celal claims, the villagers are unable to sense the concepts of time and space, and a village in the middle of Anatolia is nothing but a "frozen halting place." (16)
Yakup Kadri's "stranger" in this hostile, frozen, static, primitive, ugly village, not surprisingly, sees himself as a "Robinson Crusoe." His house in the village seems to him "a desolate island." (17) He has no clue as to the what the soul of a villager is, if it exists at all. "The soul of the Turkish villager," writes Yakup Kadri, "is a quiet and deep water. What lies in its depths? A steep rock or a mound of clay or a soft layer of sand? It is impossible to discover." (18) Yakup Kadri's character is unable to understand and communicate with the villagers. He confesses that he does not know what the villagers care for and talk about. Interestingly, what Ahmet Celal does not understand is the simple but vital economic life and activities of those villagers, their struggle for survival in their uncomplicated lives. To these issues, however, Ahmet Celal is indifferent since he is too much occupied by the current military and political debates in the country--the War of Independence and the like! (19) Yakup Kadri's contempt for the villagers can best be summarized by his own words when he says:
To become like them, to dress like them, to eat and drink like them, to sit and stand like them, to talk in their language.... Let's say I can do all these. But how can I think like them? How can I feel like them? (20)
The author's attitude towards the villagers can also be observed in his characterization of village women and love. According to Ahmet Celal, village women are inherently "despicable and treacherous." (21) They smell terribly, lack any sort of elegance and are not worth making love to since, according to the author, even though one can imagine how animals have sex, in the case of the villagers, he says, it is impossible even to imagine. (22)
In addition to the objective and historical backwardness of the villagers, Yakup Kadri accuses them of being ignorant of the War of Independence. This can also be read as an ignorance of nationalism. The only worry on the part of the villagers, so far as this war is concerned, is their fear of being drafted into the army. (23) In fact, there is nothing surprising in this fact, since the Anatolian people at least from 1911 onwards spent a great deal of their time on battlefields and were tired of them. Yakup Kadri's character could have understood this phenomenon, but this time it is his turn to be ignorant! He is indifferent to the villagers' condition and becomes angry with them when they show great interest in superstitious beliefs and religious fanaticism instead of nationalistic concerns. The villagers drive him crazy when he witnesses them honoring and fearing an ordinary Sufi shaykh who visits the village. (24) For our Kemalist observer, belief in such phenomena once again proves the backwardness of the villagers. Yet, how could the villagers, who for so long defined themselves on levels other than nationalism, subscribe to this "stranger's" notion of vatan (homeland) and Turkishness? Yakup Kadri is aware of the difficulty of winning them over to the nationalist cause. In one of Celal's conversations with a villager, the latter makes it clear that he sees himself as a Muslim and refuses to be called a Turk. (25) Likewise, Yakup Kadri claims that the victory over the foreign powers will only save the lands and not the nation because the nation as such does not yet exist. (26)
Nevertheless, the villagers, according to Yakup Kadri, were not to be blamed for their backwardness, hostility, ignorance of nationalism and the like. Interestingly, it is the intelligentsia who are held responsible for whatever shortcomings the villagers have. This is the message that makes Yaban all the more intriguing and significant. Yakup Kadri's critique of the intelligentsia is a striking one:
The reason for this, Turkish intellectual, is you! What did you ever do for this devastated country and this poor mass of people? For thousands of years you sucked his blood and threw him back onto the hard soil like sediment, and now you come and find in yourself the right to loathe him. The Anatolian man had a soul you could not influence. He had a mind you could not enlighten. He had a body you could not feed. He had a land he lived on; you did not help him harvest it. You left in the grips of animal-like feelings, ignorance, poverty and drought. Between the hard soil and the sky he blossomed like wild grass. Now, with the sickle in your hand, you came to harvest. What did you sow so that you could harvest? ... The thing that upset you is your own accomplishment, your own. (27)
Yaban also offers an eyewitness account of the incredible gap between the villagers and the intelligentsia of the time. Yakup Kadri confesses that even the national catastrophe that followed World War I could not unite the villagers with the nationalist intelligentsia. On the contrary, it increased the existing gap since the villagers were too ignorant and often even helped the enemies who invaded Anatolia after World War I. (28) Yaban eloquently describes both this gap and the estrangement between the intelligentsia and the peasantry that was responsible for it:
As time passes I understand more clearly that the Turkish intellectual is a bizarre, lonely person in this vast and desolate country called Turkey. Is he a recluse? No; I have to say a strange creature. Imagine a person whose race and species are unknown. As he goes towards the deepest parts of the country that he considers his homeland, he feels that he is going away from his own roots.... I do not know whether there exists the same deep gap in every country between the intelligentsia and the villagers! But the difference between a literate Ystanbul young man and an Anatolian villager is greater than the one between a London Englishman and a Punjabi Indian. (29)
Yaban is not only a striking critique of the intelligentsia--we have to remember that Yakup Kadri was a staunch spokesman for the intelligentsia and especially for the bureaucracy. (30) He still sees in the intelligentsia a mission for the country. That is why his novel is also a call for the Turkish intelligentsia to emancipate the villagers, to fill the gap between them, to transform the villagers into Turkish citizens, and, by doing so, to lift the level of the Young Turkish Republic.
But again, how should the intelligentsia accomplish its mission? Here Yakup Kadri shares a common concern with the peasantists of the time. Like them, he believes that everything the villagers lack is in one way or another related to their unequal struggle against nature and the natural environment, not to human social relations. (31) One can infer from reading Yaban that the main problems of the Turkish countryside consist of the backwardness of peasant production, the backward agricultural techniques, the inability to wage a war against the natural elements, etc. In a nutshell, what needed to be done for the villagers, who for ages had suffered the hardships of nature, was to dominate nature. It was in this task that the intelligentsia should help the villagers. Almost all the contemporary reviews of Yaban stress this message of dominating nature and improving agricultural techniques as one of the most important messages of the novel. (32)
By way of concluding this discussion on the importance of Yaban, I think the following points should be reemphasized: Yaban, first and foremost, is an expose and a confession of the devastating conditions of the villagers, (33) who were officially exalted as masters of the nation, and a call for the Turkish intelligentsia to go to the villages and win their hearts and minds. The novel's message is that Turkey's development and the future of Turkish nationalist ideology revolved around the transformation of the Turkish countryside. The basic impediment to the accomplishment of these aims, we are told, comes from the intelligentsia. This is because they have been indifferent to the realities of the Turkish people, especially the peasantry. In this respect, the novel is a harsh self-critique of the intelligentsia. Here we see a common characteristic of peasantism that blames the intelligentsia rather than social classes for being the root cause of all socioeconomic problems. In the eyes of Yakup Kadri, both the cause and the solution of the problems of the Turkish countryside could be found within the intelligentsia. If we recall the time the novel was published (1932), Yaban constituted one of the most important spurs to the campaign of the reaching out to the hearts and minds of the Anatolian villagers. Yakup Kadri's romantic description of the Anatolian village and his use of the intellectuals as the scapegoat must have contributed immensely to the peasantist rhetoric of the period because these were notions commonly used by the peasantists of the 1930s and 1940s.
A Socialist Outlook: Sabahattin Ali
It was not only the intellectuals of Kemalist orientation who evinced an interest in village themes and the peasantry in literature. Not surprisingly, contemporary left-wing intellectuals also raised the importance of the villages and the peasantry as a class in the development of modern Turkey. Their concern was in part stimulated by the weak power and imperceptible representation in Turkey of the working class, who had been a powerful force in west European left-wing political movements. This under-representation is understandable given the fact that Turkey was still a predominantly agrarian country. It was quite difficult for the left-wing intellectuals to put forth a working-class politics in a country whose principal political agent, the working class itself was remarkably underdeveloped. For this reason one should not be surprised to see a great deal of concern with the peasantry in the works of Sabahattin Ali, who was a well-known socialist writer. As a matter of fact, it was he, not the peasantists or the ruling Republican People's Party, who was deeply and genuinely concerned with a realistic description of the peasantry and social relations in the countryside.
Born in 1905 in a village of western Thrace in what is now Bulgaria, Sabahattin Ali was raised in a lower-class family who financially suffered a great deal during the Greek occupation of western Anatolia after World War I. He graduated from Ystanbul Teachers' College in 1926 and was sent to Germany by the government from 1928 to 1930, as he proved himself a talented candidate in the exams given by the Ministry of Education. Upon his return to Turkey, he became a secondary-school German teacher in several Anatolian cities such as Aydin and Konya. While he was in Konya, he was accused of writing a poem criticizing the leading political figures of the time and spent about a year in several prisons, where he found the opportunity to communicate with different people from different regions and social backgrounds. This is why many of the personalities in his works are said to be people whom the author met during his invaluable prison experience. Such encounters must have marked a turning point in his shifting toward a more realistic description and presentation of Turkey's social realities. (34)
After he was released from jail, he applied to the Ministry of Education once again for a job, but he was asked to prove that he had changed his political ideas. In order to show his loyalty to the regime, he published a poem called "Benim Apkim" (My Love) in which he praised Ataturk. After having been forced to publish such a poem, he offered an official job, although for the rest of his life he lived as a distrusted intellectual. He was so tired of being monitored by the police and threatened judicially be the government that he felt he had to flee the country. His attempt to do so ended tragically in 1948. (35) He was murdered at the Bulgarian border by a crooked smuggler who had ties to the police and did not spend much time in prison. (36)
Sabahattin Ali is known as the first realistic Turkish writer and one of the most competent writers of the early Republican era who chose village themes for his short stories. (37) His portrayal of the countryside and its people is marvelously detailed and his approach remarkably realistic. His language is simple yet elegant. In his novel Kuyucakli Yusuf (Yusuf from Kuyucak) and in his short stories, Ali always refrains from didacticism. He portrays events, circumstances and personalities through the eyes of his literary characters. Nevertheless, his works usually carry with them a flavor of social protest.
Kuyucakli Yusuf is probably Sabahattin Ali's best-known work that should be taken as a village novel. (38) This novel starts in a village in western Anatolia and proceeds to Edremit, a small town on the Aegean coast. Having the reputation of being among the first novelists who took into consideration village themes, characters and problems, (39) Sabahattin Ali chooses as the main character in this novel a village-born teenager who faces tremendous difficulties in the town; the novel, among other things, embodies the psychological dilemmas of its main character, caught between urban and rural values.
The novel starts in 1903 and ends during World War I. Because it contains so many social critiques, many commentators believe that the reason Sabahattin Ali chose this period is to escape any punishment by the Republican regime since his critiques were still valid at the time the novel was published. The main character's parents are killed by bandits in the village and the governor of the town adopts Yusuf as his child. So begins peasant Yusuf's life in a privileged family in the vastly different setting of Edremit. As he grows up, he has difficulty adapting to the social life of the town. Yusuf fights with the son of a local notable and the latter, relying on his family's economic and political power in the town, decides to marry Yusuf's step-sister in order to take revenge Although Yusuf somehow manages to prevent this marriage, his problems do not end. Among the problems from which he suffers most is his deep love for his step-sister. This he is reluctant to confess even to himself. Eventually he marries his stepsister by kidnapping her (although this was also her desire). For a while, things seem promising for Yusuf when his family accepts his marriage and he is united with the person whom he loves most in life. But everything changes dramatically with the death of his step-father sometime during World War I. Financial problems arise. Moreover, the newly appointed governor harasses Yusuf because this corrupt person develops a close relationship with the rich and powerful family that wants to take revenge on Yusuf. The new governor appoints Yusuf to the post of tax-collector so that he has to be away from his home and his beloved wife. In Yusuf's absence, under the influence of her corrupt mother and in a severe financial crisis, Yusuf's wife tries to compensate for her loneliness and lack of money by attending parties hosted by the rich family. The novel ends with Yusuf killing the members of the notable family, the new governor and, mistakenly, his wife. Finding no way out, Yusuf escapes to the mountains in the end.
Unlike Yakup Kadri, who depicts the villagers as people of no dignity and great primitiveness, Sabahattin Ali's villager is a man of dignity, honesty and self-esteem. Yusuf, as a villager, never gets accustomed to the values and lifestyle of the town. Many people in the town are characterized by deceit, injustice, insincerity, corruption, and economic exploitation. (40) Yusuf is a man of virtues and feelings, though not of reason. He does not understand politics, complex bureaucratic affairs, corrupt businesses, and the like. Only in nature and the countryside does he find relief from the problems of everyday life. For Sabahattin Ali, the countryside and the village embody the natural, the innocent and the honest, as opposed to the superficiality, corruption and deception of the town.
Such a depiction of village people can be seen in Ali's short stories as well. Peasants are usually portrayed as people who must grow up as fast as possible without really enjoying their childhood, in order to handle the hardships of life. The countryside is characterized as "brutal lands" where "nothing is as easy as to die and kill." (41) Despite the inherent savagery of the countryside and the recurring fights of the villagers with each other, especially over water and land issues, they do not feel resentment towards each other. (42) The villagers are presented as people of tolerance. They do not even get angry with the Gypsies although the latter steal their property. (43)
Sabahattin Ali's village characters such as Yusuf are people of low intelligence who are unable to handle complex matters, especially when they require official undertakings. As one old peasant in "Bir Orman Hikayesi" (A Forest Story) admits, "You know, we are peasants. Our minds are not well-suited for further complications." (44) Yet, they are portrayed as people of instincts, a positive feature they possess from their traditions and experiences.
The economic and political domination of the social life of the town and the villages by the local notables, be they big landowners or capitalists, is one of the main and most important themes in Sabahattin Ali's Kuyucakli Yusuf and in many of his short stories. His novel is a staunch protest against the power of these social classes over the little townsmen and villagers. The power of the rich and notables is absolute. Even bureaucrats, such as governors and judges, are unable and usually unwilling to confront the rich and influential. As a matter of fact, the bureaucrats are depicted in Sabahattin Ali's novel as having no power at all vis-a-vis the local notables, even in the case of some honest bureaucrats who want to stand with the ordinary people. For instance, in the novel when the son of a rich and politically influential family murders an ordinary villager, the criminal simply walks away from the crime. Sabahattin Ali's description of the situation shows us a well-known fact of the Turkish countryside:
Things go in the same way in the present as they did in the past, and despite freedom and the ideas of equality that the 1908 Revolution brought, even the prominent people of the town were unable to even imagine that Mr. Hilmi's son could actually be imprisoned. (45)
Sabahattin Ali's character Yusuf wants to resist the power of the local notables; he tries his best, but the reader is always made aware of the impossibility of his success. Whatever Yusuf can do is limited by the social structure. Unlike Yakup Kadri, Sabahattin Ali does not offer a way out for his villager from this difficult situation. It is the social structure, the reader senses, that limits the degree of his success. With his powerful realism, the author merely describes the social conditions instead of dogmatically expanding messages like a teacher.
This unavoidable domination of the rich and notables is a theme that we can also find in many of Sabahattin Ali's village stories. For instance, in "Kagni (The Cart), a mother whose son is killed by a rich and influential person in the village is "convinced" by her fellow villagers that there was no point in going to court to sue the murderer and that she ought to forget her son's death. (46) Similarly, the economic exploitation of the villagers by the rich and powerful is a recurrent theme in Ali's stories. In "Kopek" (The Dog), for example, the agha, or village head, does not pay his debt to a poor shepherd for two years. (47) Likewise, in "Kafa Kagidi (Identity Papers), a peasant complains about the loss of his land, which he has cultivated for decades, to a prominent and wealthy man who was able to "prove" in court that the land belongs to him because he has the official title deed! (48)
Like Yakup Kadri, Sabahattin Ali launches a relentless critique of the urban intellectuals. Yet, his is a different one. Ali has contempt for the intellectuals. They are depicted as people who only despise the peasants, who know nothing about them and their surroundings and, instead of solving their problems, are content with unrealistic, utopian fantasies of their own. (49) The discrepancy between the peasants and the intellectuals is a dominant theme in his story "Kopek." An engineer who graduated from a college in the United States encounters a shepherd on his way from Ankara to Konya. His fiancee asks him to stop the car because, she says, she is very curious to see a peasant since she has never seen one before. (50) The engineer tells the shepherd that they are also of peasant origin and asks him to tell him his problems so that he can help. (51) Having understood nothing of the engineer's silly and irrelevant questions, the shepherd keeps silent, which drives the engineer crazy. While the peasant sincerely feels sorry for upsetting him, as the engineer leaves, he deliberately kills one of the shepherd's beloved dogs in retaliation for the shepherd's attitude. The killing of the shepherd's dog symbolizes the irreconcilable gap between the intellectuals and the peasants. (52)
Sabahattin Ali harshly criticized the intellectuals for despising the countryside and its people. In one of his most interesting stories, the governor of a small Anatolian town cannot endure the "simple, boring, despicable, and uninteresting" life of the town and gives up his post, and thereby his future career, in order to return to Ystanbul. (53) There he begins making his living as a poor shoeshine boy, yet he is happy to do so since, for him, anything in Ystanbul is superior to living in Anatolia. For Ali, this ex-governor sincerely reflects the mood of his generation at the time in Turkey when he says:
Don't talk to me about patriotism or the need to enlighten these people! What you are going to say will be true, yet ... for us, for our generation, loving the country is just a fantasy, self-sacrifice is a word erased from the dictionary and selfishness is the most prudent moral quality. I am different from the others in that I say what I think openly and sincerely. (54)
Instead of the peasants and ordinary men and women, Sabahattin Ali consciously despises the intellectuals. In this respect, his work represents the complete opposite of Yakup Kadri's approach. Ali's account of the intellectuals and privileged urban classes usually focuses on their ignorance, insolence, selfishness, insincerity, and low moral values. Often, they are simply liars. They continually repeat the motto: "The peasants are our masters," (55) yet they never regard them as such in practice. One of Ali's main characters in his story "Bir Iskandal" (A Scandal) underlines this fact:
What does the peasant take in return for what he gives? He is forced to construct his road himself, his streets are darker than his unfortunate fate and schools are not available even in one percent of the villages. Gendarmes go there just to collect taxes rather than providing tranquility. Let's not deceive ourselves, the peasants continuously have given, but in return have gotten nothing. Even to admit this probably would make the piece of bread we are eating stick in our throats, if a little conscience still remains in us. And the motto "The peasants are the masters of our nation" is good morphine in order not to hear the voice of our consciousness. But no motto is able to change the reality. (56)
Obviously, this is a sharp critique of the Turkish intelligentsia. It becomes even sharper when Ali criticizes and satirizes the peasantists of the time. In his interesting story "Bir Konferans" (A Conference), the peasantists and the way they approach the peasants are chosen as a target of harsh disapproval. The story revolves around the opening of a school in an Anatolian village. The guests who come from the city for the occasion consist of prominent officials and "peasantists" who are elegantly dressed and carry cameras with them. The peasants welcome them in the silence. One of the guests, an economist, wants to use this occasion to give a lecture on cooperativism. The idea is to "enlighten" the peasants about the uses of cooperatives. Without their consent, the peasants are forced to gather in a room to be "enlightened" by the economist. Of course, none of the peasants understand anything of the lecturer's sophisticated presentation. Yet they must pretend to comprehend a great deal in order to escape further explanations from the speaker, which would require them to spend even more time on this boring conference. (57) This story in fact reflects a typical peasantist excursion to a Turkish village in the 1930s. The urban intellectuals and bureaucrats, without any organic relation to or deep understanding of the countryside, want to impose their utopian and inapplicable ideas in an arrogant, supercilious, and patronizing style.
Like the intellectuals, the government officials are subject to harsh criticisms in Sabahattin Ali's works. The relation of the peasants to the state is a critical recurring theme in many of his short stories. Instead of solving the problems of rural Turkey, the government officials themselves are perceived to constitute a major source of the peasants problems. They are depicted as corrupt, selfish, money-oriented men who hate the peasants, their values, lifestyle and traditions. Many examples of this negative attitude can be found in Ali's stories. In "Sulfata" (Quinine), a town doctor, instead of helping the peasants, practically tortures his patients by not giving them the necessary drugs to cure their illnesses. (58) Likewise, in "Komik-i Sehir" (The Comic of the City), a governor, instead of finding the criminals who raped a woman, wants to seduce her himself. (59) In "Kagni," an old woman, instead of prosecuting her son's murderer, is scared to death even by the idea of going to court since she believes that nothing positive nor significant could come from the justice system. Even if she wanted to go to court, she could not risk being away from her land which needs to be cultivated for her survival. (60)
In Sabahattin Ali's stories the gendarmes embody the corrupt power of the state over the peasants. In almost all instances, gendarmes act against the peasants' interests, sometimes for the sake of the law and sometimes just in order to impose their own arbitrary "laws." They occasionally rape women, (61) often imprison desperate people who are unable to pay their taxes, (62) detain the innocent just to show their superiors that they perform their jobs efficiently and properly, (63) allow a victim's enemies to beat him after they themselves do the same, (64) arbitrarily harass an old lady, (65) and generally treat the peasants badly, considering them inferior people. (66) The gendarmes' contact with the villagers, unlike that of the intellectuals, "is forced by circumstances rather than personal interest," and they are "often more ignorant and more overtly destructive and hostile." (67)
The gendarmes usually side with the rich and powerful against the common peasants. This is clearly the case in the story "Bit Orman Hikayesi," in which a private company ruins the forests of a village to gain huge profits. The forest, however, not only represents the peasants' ancestral legacy--their entire material well-being depends upon it as well. The peasants fruitlessly ask the authorities to stop the company's activities, but instead of helping the peasants, gendarmes are sent to suppress their resistance through the most brutal means. (68)
Despite the gendarmes' ruthlessness and inhumane attitudes, it is interesting to note that the peasants consider it "natural" that the gendarmes behave the way they do. In the story "Candarma Bekir" (The Gendarme Bekir), for example, a peasant detainee mumbles to himself: "Of course he will beat me; he's a gendarme, isn't he?" (69) It is as if the gendarmes are perceived to have the right to do whatever they please. Thus, in Ali's novels and stories the image of state power as embodied in the gendarmes indicates the deep-rooted fear of the state which was a legacy of the Ottoman state tradition, resembling what Max Weber would call the arbitrariness of state power. (70)
Contrary to the overall image of bureaucrats and intellectuals, village teachers assume positive characteristics in Sabahattin Ali's works. This may be due to the fact that Ali himself was a teacher. Most of the time village teachers are characterized as idealistic, caring people who want to help the peasants fight against the absolute power of the local notables and arbitrariness of government officials. (71) A case in point is Ali's story "Asfalt Yol" (Asphalt Road). In this story, a teacher does his best to enlighten the peasants not only in educational but also in civic matters. For instance, he teaches the peasants the Constitution in order that they might demand their rights when they need to in their relations with the government. The teacher also feels it is his duty to solve the village's acute road problem. Yet, far from solving their problems, he unintentionally creates worse ones. This situation is a recurring theme in Ali's work. Teachers are intent on being useful to the peasants, but despite their good intentions, end up failing to help them.
In sum, Sabahattin Ali's view of the intellectuals and bureaucrats is sharply different from Yakup Kadri's. For Yakup Kadri, the intellectuals and bureaucrats, if only they could see the correct way, can help the peasants to prosper and become civilized. This attitude stems from his belief that the fundamental problems of the Turkish countryside derive from the hardships of nature, not the social structure. In Sabahattin Ali's works, however, it is the social relations and social structure, first and foremost, that have to be changed. Unlike Yakup Kadri, Sabahattin Ali does not expect anything significant from the intellectuals and bureaucrats. Indeed, Ali sees these groups as the creators of social problems in the countryside. This is easily seen in his novel Kuyucakli Yusuf, in which he claims that nothing significant has changed since the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. The finale of Kuyucakli Yusuf exemplifies this perspective and constitutes a major difference in viewpoint from Yakup Kadri's. While Ali's novel ends with Yusuf's escape to the mountains, which represents hopelessness and overall rejection of state authority, Yakup Kadri's Yaban ends with the promising sounds of Kemalist artillery from Ankara, announcing the advance of the nation-state.
A Populist Outlook: Memduh Pevket Esendal
Memduh Pevket Esendal is one of the most interesting literary figures of early Republican Turkey. His works are not exclusively on village themes, yet he is one of the writers who, even before Yakup Kadri and Sabahattin Ali, touched upon such topics, although many of his stories were published much later than originally written. His attention to the villagers is part of his wider curiosity about and emphasis on the presentation of ordinary men and women in literature. Like Sabahattin Ali, Esendal refrained from an unrealistic, idealized and romantic depiction of the village life and villagers that was common among many peasantist intellectuals of the time.
Born in 1883 in Corlu, a small town in western Turkey, Memduh Pevket Esendal was the son of an immigrant family from the Balkans. Because of his family's desperate financial situation and the troubled times of ongoing wars, Memduh Pevket was unable to complete his education. He was basically a self-educated man. Early in his life, he became a member of the then-secret Yttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti (the Committee of Union and Progress) in 1906. (72) As one of this organization's inspectors, he was able to visit the entire country after the 1908 Revolution; this enabled him to get to know the realities of his country and people. In the meantime, he had to earn his family's living from agriculture. Things worsened during World War I, when his family lost all its lands. At the heyday of the Turkish War of Independence, Esendal served as the first ambassador of the new regime in Ankara to Azerbaijan. Upon his return to Turkey, with his former Unionist friends he published the weekly newspaper Meslek (Profession) in 1925. This publication was not well received by the governing Republican People's Party, not so much because of the ideology the newspaper advocated, but because of the political identity of the contributors, who were perceived as rivals to the governing elite of the new regime. Esendal first published his short stories in Meslek. The newspaper championed a corporatist outlook, envisioning a society organized and governed on the basis of professional groups. After the 1926 attempt to assassinate Ataturk in Yzmir, which gave the government the excuse to exterminate the Unionists, Esendal was again sent abroad as an ambassador. He escaped a harsher punishment probably because he was not among the core leaders of the Unionists and was willing to compromise with the new regime.
Esendal resided in Iran, the Soviet Union and Afghanistan until 1938, except for two years (1930-32) when he was appointed as a deputy minister in the Grand National Assembly. During his stay abroad, he learned Persian, French and Russian while getting acquainted with foreign literature, and he continued to write short stories. After his return in 1938 he again became a deputy minister and reached the apogee of his political career when he held the post of Secretary General of the Republican People's Party from 1941 to 1945. He had to resign in 1945 after finding himself at loggerheads with the prime minister, P. Saracoglu, over the issue of land reform. (73) From the time of his resignation until his death in 1952, he concentrated on literary works, and it was during this time that he gained prominence as a story writer. His late fame in literature was partly owing to the fact that his real name was not known in literary circles since he always used pseudonyms because he preferred to separate his literary identity from his political identity.
Although much of Esendal's life as a politician and diplomat passed within the dry, mundane, often clumsy and bureaucratic sphere of Realpolitik, he was a utopian. He called his utopia the "horizontal civilization," by which he meant agrarian civilization. Antithetical to his utopia was the "vertical civilization," that is, industrial civilization. Esendal was, as P. Sureyya Aydemir characterized him, an "enemy of industry and industrial civilization." (74) His standpoint, obviously, is quite reminiscent of the peasantist outlook that prevailed in the 1930s. He believed in agrarian civilization so deeply that he saw it was the first and foremost duty of an artist to accept, advocate and spread the idea of agrarian civilization. In an interview shortly before his death, Esendal makes it clear that:
There is no "vertical civilization"; it cannot survive. Those things that we see today--the atoms, new weapons, discoveries, political crises, depressions--all these are the evidence that the "vertical civilization" is falling apart. I believe that eventually the "horizontal civilization," namely agrarian civilization, will be victorious. I see humanity's happiness and the fulfillment of a stable national life in the rise of agrarian civilization. This task cannot be fulfilled by the governments, but by the artists. It is the artists who should work on this idea, develop it, cultivate it, lead the people to become familiarized with the idea of "agrarian civilization," and make the people accept it. (75)
One wonders to what extent Esendal's short stories reflect the society and civilization that he imagined. Except for his story entitled "Yurda Donup" (The Return to the Homeland), in which he attempts to depict a future society illustrative of his utopian agrarian civilization, he barely mentions issues related to the topic. But this is understandable when we take into account how Esendal positions himself as an artist. According to him, there are two kinds of artists: those who lead and those who follow. The former live and think ahead of society, present new goals, visions and horizons to the nation and can rarely be found in society. Esendal shows great respect for such people, yet he does not locate himself in this distinguished group. As he himself claims, he belongs to the latter group: artists who are content merely with following society in the sense that they reflect the present state of society and societal relations rather than inspiring the values of the future. (76) Given this, it is possible to understand why Esendal's literary works only mirrored what he witnessed in his life and did not engage in propagating his vision of "agrarian civilization."
Instead, Esendal's works are reflections of the everyday life and struggles of the "little men." His characters are not heroic, charming, sophisticated, or cosmopolitan. They are modest, simple, ordinary "little" men and women, who are simply concerned with their "little" problems. (77) Such a choice might be related to Esendal's own personality. He is known as one of the most modest politicians and intellectuals of his era. He always advised his children to be modest and refrain from being overly concerned with the material benefits of life. (78) A case in point is his designation as the ambassador to socialist Azerbaijan in 1920. The Azerbaijanis for this post wanted a "modest" person who belonged to "the people," and the first person who came to mind was Esendal. He mentions this appointment on the basis of such criteria always as a matter of honor. (79)
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Esendal's literary works is his use of simple and unsophisticated language. Even earlier in his career, during the late Ottoman Empire, Esendal's language was extremely simple, lucid and direct compared with his contemporary counterparts. In his respect, he can be considered a forerunner of the state-sponsored linguistic movement of the 1930s that aimed to purify the language. On the one hand, Esendal's concern is pragmatic: he wants his ordinary readers to understand his works. On the other hand, his approach seems more philosophical. According to the literary critic Tahir Alangu, Esendal's use of simple and direct language is related to the populist Halka Dogru (To the People) tendency that began to take root among the Turkish intelligentsia in the early 1900s. (80) A hidden critique of elitism is at work here. Esendal once pointed out that if we examine the way the peasants talk, we immediately realize that they communicate in a simple, direct way instead of a sophisticated, complex way. (81) However, adopting the style of the peasant for his own writing style did not mean creating a cult of peasantry, since Esendal categorically rejected making a cult of anything.
Esendal perceives the bureaucratic nature of the state as antithetical to his corporatist worldview as advocated in the weekly Meslek. (82) Such a political structure would have increased the participatory aspect of the system and would have significantly decreased the number of parasitic elements, such as government officials. (83) A recurring theme in Esendal's stories is a persistent critique of government officials and intellectuals as outsiders who create problems for ordinary people. For example, his story "Koye Dupmup" (Stuck in a Village) depicts a former government official and an intellectual who, for some time, is obliged to live in a village. His only concern is to get away from the village since he despises the village people and their environment. (84) In another story, "Mudurun Zugurdu" (The Poor Official), Esendal presents the corrupt affairs of a local official who arbitrarily forces the innocent peasants to give him money and is backed up by an influential local notable. (85) The same theme of official abuse of authority recurs in "Yane" (A Donation). (86) Likewise, in "Ypin Bitti" (Your Work is Done), a village headman is asked to come to the town, which takes hours of walking. When he arrives, the officials make him wait for hours for no reason. Eventually, they ask him whether someone from his village is alive or not. Just for the answer to this simple question, the officials practically torture the village headman, causing him to miss a full day of work on his land. (87) Such attitudes naturally lead the peasants to mistrust the state to the extent that instead of going to the official judicial courts, they often create their own system of justice, mostly by killing their enemies, as exemplified in Esendal's stories "Kelep" (Bald) and "Dursun Haci" (the leading character's name). (88)
Like Sabahattin Ali's works, Esendal's literary works convey a critical attitude towards the gendarmes and aghas, who are the economically and politically dominant local figures. (89) Yet, compared to Ali's sharp and harsh critiques, Esendal's are soft and often compromising. There are several reasons inherent in Esendal's personality, literary style and political ideology to account for this softer attitude towards these two groups who had traditionally been a real problem for the peasants. Esendal's personality, as we have seen, was a modest one, always open to compromise and to understanding people rather than condemning them. He also believed that artists should be as optimistic as possible in order to accomplish their duty of inspiring hope among the people. As he notes, he "enjoys literary works that inspire hope, joy and strength." (90) A case in point is his story "Epek" (Donkey), in which a peasant loses his beloved donkey and starts thinking that the world is a miserable place. He later finds his donkey, and his thoughts and feelings immediately change to optimism about life. (91) The third reason for his soft attitude is related to Esendal's political ideology. He was an ardent supporter of the idea of progress and embraced the Enlightenment's naive belief that the human soul is inherently good. When such beliefs and ideas blend with the belief he inherited from his experience of the Committee of Union and Progress that an elite can change the world and teach people what is good and bad, the result is an unshakeable optimism.
Esendal's presentation of village life is also not as sharply critical as Sabahattin Ali's. Although he depicts the poverty, the miserable conditions and the ongoing problems of the peasants, (92) he intentionally refrains from making social criticisms. In this sense he was much less of a politically and socially oriented writer than Ali. Unlike Ali, Esendal believed that society consisted of harmonious social groups and classes, and that peace in society could be sustained if it were not for the misuse of power and corruption of officials. Disregarding the differentiation of social groups and classes, Esendal easily found his scapegoat in government officials, and assumed it was his duty to ameliorate the state and party apparatus, which he sincerely tried to do during his tenure as Secretary General of the governing Republican People's Party in the first half of the 1940s.
It is not easy to ascertain to what extent our three literary figures were influenced by the peasantist rhetoric that was so widespread in Turkey in the 1930s and afterward. But there is no doubt that their writings had an impact on the advancement of peasantist concerns in the intellectual realm of Republican Turkey. For instance, many people regard the publication of Yakup Kadri's Yaban as a turning point in stimulating the interest and attention of the Turkish intellectuals in the peasantry and the problems of the countryside. (93) Sabahattin Ali's village stories became best-sellers among the students of Village Institutes, who were educated in a peasantist spirit. (94) Ali himself visited the Village Institutes several times. (95) Esendal inspired other artists to focus on the lives of the common people, especially on the peasants.
The fact that all three of our distinguished writers chose to address village themes is in itself important. Yakup Kadri's concern was related to the necessity of consolidating Turkish nationalism and finding a mass base for the political regime. Despite the unfavorable characteristics of the countryside that he depicted in Yaban, Yakup Kadri believed that the countryside was still the repository of national values. In the case of Sabahattin Ali, a moderate socialist, the importance of the peasantry probably stemmed from his sympathy for an oppressed class. For him, in the absence of an urban industrial working class, the peasants were the most significant subaltern group who directly faced the domination of the ruling classes, especially that of the bureaucracy and the landowners. This fact itself made it worthwhile to pay attention to the peasantry. Besides, it was a common phenomenon among contemporary socialists everywhere to regard the peasantry as a potential revolutionary class. Esendal's interest in the peasantry stemmed from his desire to represent in his literary works the common people, and who could represent their characteristics better than the peasants in a country where the rural population constituted almost eighty percent of the population.
As discussed in this paper, our three writers contributed greatly to the increasing concern in the peasantry and the countryside. Yet, despite these outstanding examples of literature on village themes, it has to be pointed out that none of the literary figures in early Republican Turkey was a peasant himself. They were educated urban writers who felt that they had to take into account the peasantry and the problems of rural Turkey as topics for their literary works.
Despite the blooming of a peasantist ideology in that era, the number of early peasantist literary works cannot match the body of later literary works belonging to this genre. Only after 1950 did a strong "village literature" emerge in Turkey, written by a new "peasantist" intelligentsia born in villages. When, for example, Mahmut Makal, who was a graduate of the Village Institutes, came up with this path-breaking work Bizim Koy (Our Village) in 1950, the dry, but realistic depiction of the Turkish countryside shocked many people. From around the early 1950s through the 1970s, the so-called "peasantist literature" as a genre mushroomed and, in one way or another, influenced many Turkish literary circles. (96) This extraordinary development was partly thanks to the graduates of the Village Institutes who seriously and ambitiously chose to focus and write on village themes. (97) In addition to their efforts, the political and ideological climate of this era, characterized by a move towards populism on both the left and right of Turkish politics, resonated with "peasantist literature." More important, of course, was the rapid industrialization and disintegration of the peasantry, together with a considerable immigration into the cities, which emerged in the 1950s.
(1.) See my "Elite Perceptions of Land Reform in Turkey," The Journal of Peasant Studies 27 (3), April 2000, pp. 115-141; "The People's Houses and the Cult of the Peasant in Turkey," Middle Eastern Studies 34 (4) (October 1998), pp. 67-91; and "The Village Institute Experience in Turkey," British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 25 (1) (May 1998), pp. 47-73.
(2.) The famous novelist Kemal Tahir, for example, wrote many polemical novels in which he picked up interesting, significant and controversial historical themes and came up with unique theories and occasionally new historiographical viewpoints.
(3.) See Ramazan Kaplan, Cumhuriyet Donemi Turk Romaninda Koy (Ankara: Kultur ve Turizm Bakanligi Yayinlari 1988), p. 5; Demirtas Ceyhun, Turk Edebiyatindaki Anadolu (Istanbul: Sis Cani, 1996), p. 7.
(4.) Fethi Naci, Turkiye'de Roman ve Toplumsal Degisme (Istanbul: Gercek Yayinevi, 1981), pp. 264-65.
(5.) See Yakup K. Karaosmanoglu, Ankara, 4th edition (Istanbul: Remzi, 1972).
(6.) Fethi Naci, 40 Yilda 40 Roman (Istanbul: Oglak, 1994), pp. 49-50.
(7.) See Daniel Goffman, "Izmir: From village to Colonial Port City," in Edhem Eldem, Daniel Goffman, and Bruce Masters, The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir, and Istanbul (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 121.
(8.) See Ismail Cetisli, Memduh Sevket Esendal (Ankara: Kultur Bakanligi, 1991), pp. 1-20; Carole Rathbun, The Village in the Turkish Novel and Short Story, 1920 to 1955 (Paris: Mouton, 1972), p. 34.
(9.) The literary critic Fethi Naci rightly considers Yakup Kadri the "author and ideologue of the bureaucracy." See Naci, Turkiye'de Roman, p. 143.
(10.) Kadro was published between 1932 and 1934 and its contributors wanted to shape the ideology of Kemalism until it was forced to shut down by the government. The main contributors to the journal consisted of Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Sevket Sureyya Aydemir, Vedat Nedim Tor, Burhan Beige, and Ismail Husrev Tokin, all of whom wanted to provide an alternative intellectual center in the RPP.
(11.) The story of Kadro's termination by the state and his life as a diplomat is found in Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Zoraki Diplomat (Ankara: Bilgi Yayinevi, 1967; first published in 1955).
(12.) Yakup Kadri does not make any distinction between a villager and a peasant. The first term encompasses anybody living in the villages. Peasants, however, represent mostly lower-class village people. Therefore, in the case of Yakup Kadri, it seems more appropriate to use the concept of "villager."
(13.) Rathbun, The Village in the Turkish Novel, p. 35; Yalcin Kucuk, Bilim ve Edebiyat (Istanbul: Tekin, 1985), p. 506.
(14.) Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Yaban, 8th edition (Istanbul: Remzi, 1968), p. 65.
(15.) Ibid., p. 27.
(17.) Ibid., p. 98.
(18.) Ibid., p. 16.
(19.) Ibid., p. 116.
(20.) Ibid., pp. 61-62.
(21.) Ibid., p. 40.
(22.) Ibid., p. 30.
(23.) Ibid., p. 40.
(24.) Ibid., p. 42.
(25.) Ibid., p. 139.
(26.) See Tahir Hayrettin, "Turk Edebiyatinin Ilk Original Eseri: `Yaban'," Kadro 15 (March 1933), p. 48.
(27.) Karaosmanoglu, Yaban, p. 100.
(28.) Ibid., p. 155.
(29.) Ibid., p. 31.
(30.) For such a characterization of Yakup Kadri, see Naci, Turkiye'de Roman, p. 143.
(31.) See, for instance, Karaosmanoglu, Yaban, p. 22.
(32.) See Vedat Nedim (Tor), "Iste bir Roman: Yaban," Kadro 16 (April 1933), pp. 48-49. Sevket Sureyya (Aydemir), "Yaban," Kadro 18 (June 1933), pp. 86-87.
(33.) For a similar comment, see Naci, Turkiye'de Roman, p. 144.
(34.) Demirtas, Turk Edebiyatindaki Anadolu, p. 32.
(35.) For Sabahattin Ali's life story, tributes to him and discussions of his literary works, see a collection of articles in Filiz Ali Laslo and Attila Ozkirimli, Sabahattin Ali (Istanbul: Cem Yayinevi, 1979).
(36.) For a discussion of the murder of Sabahattin Ali, see Kucuk, Bilim ve Edebiyat, pp. 268-314.
(37.) Oktay, Cumhuriyet Donemi Edebiyati, p. 130; Ramazan Korkmaz, Sabahattin Ali Istanbul: Yapi Kredi Yayinlari, 1997), p. 129.
(38.) Oktay, Cumhuriyet Donemi Edebiyati, p. 130.
(39.) Astra Bezirci, Sabahattin Ali (Istanbul: Amac, 1987), p. 100.
(40.) Sabahattin Ali, Kuyucakli Yusuf (Istanbul: Cem Yayinlari, 1982; first published in 1937), p. 47.
(41.) Sabahattin Ali, "Kanal" (Canal) (1934), in Sabahattin Ali, Degirmen, Butun Eserleri 5 (Istanbul: Cem Yayinevi, 1983), p. 116.
(42.) Ibid., p. 114.
(43.) Sabahattin Ali, "Degirmen" (The Mill) (1929), in ibid., p. 14.
(44.) Sabahattin Ali, "Bir Orman Hikayesi" (1930), in ibid., p. 97.
(45.) Ali, Kuyucakli Yusuf, p. 135.
(46.) Sabahattin Ali, "Kagni," in Sabahattin Ali, Kagni-Ses (Ankara: Akba Kitabevi, 1943), pp. 7-8.
(47.) Sabahattin Ali, "Kopek" (1937), in ibid., p. 129.
(48.) Sabahattin Ali, "Kafa Kagidi" (1935), in ibid., p. 20.
(49.) For a similar comment, see Korkmaz, Sabahattin Ali, p. 135.
(50.) "Merak ediyorum ayol, ben hic koylu gormedim ki!" Sabahattin Ali, "Kopek," p. 133.
(51.) Ibid., p. 135.
(52.) Ibid., p. 137.
(53.) Sabahattin Ali, "Bir Siyah Fanila Icin" (1927), in Sabahattin Ali, Degirmen, p. 142.
(54.) Ibid., pp. 146-147.
(55.) Sabahattin Ali, "Bir Iskandal" (A Scandal) (1932), in Sabahattin Ali, Kagni-Ses, p. 84.
(56.) Ibid., p. 85.
(57.) Sabahattin Ali, "Bir Konferans" (1941), in Sabahattin Ali, Yeni Dunya (Istanbul: Varlik Yayinlari, 1966), pp. 124-128.
(58.) Sabahattin Ali, "Sulfata," in ibid., pp. 166-181.
(59.) Sabahattin Ali, "Komik-i Sehir" (1928), in Sabahattin Ali, Degirmen, pp. 165-166.
(60.) Sabahattin Ali, "Kagni," p. 9.
(61.) Sabahattin Ali, "Sicak Su" (Hot Water) (1936), in ibid., pp. 139-142.
(62.) See Sabahattin Ali, "Kafa Kagidi," in ibid., pp. 18-21.
(63.) See Sabahattin Ali, "Bir Firar" (An Escape) (1933), in Sabahattin Ali, Degirmen, pp. 108-111.
(64.) See "Candarma Bekir" (1934) in ibid., pp. 118-123.
(65.) See "Kagni," pp. 9-10.
(66.) See Sabahattin Ali, "Asfalt Yol, -Bir Koy Ogretmeninin Notlarindan" (The Asphalt Road, From the Notes of a Village Teacher) (1936), in Sabahattin Ali, Yeni Dunya, p. 17.
(67.) Rathbun's overall evaluation of the gendarme stereotype well suits the ones in Ali's works. See Rathbun, The Village in the Turkish Novel, p. 85.
(68.) "Bit Orman Hikayesi," pp. 98-99.
(69.) "Candarma Bekir," p. 121.
(70.) A critique of Weber in the context of the Ottoman Empire can be found in Haim Gerber's State, Society and Law in Islam: Ottoman Law in Comparative Perspective (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994).
(71.) For a similar comment, see Korkmaz, Sabahattin Ali, pp. 215-216.
(72.) Tahir Alangu, Cumhuriyetten Sonra Hikaye ve Roman, 1919-1930 (Istanbul: Istanbul Matbaasi, 1968), p. 123; Rathbun, The Village in the Turkish Novel, pp. 28-29.
(73.) Cetisli, Memduh Sevket Esendal, p. 20.
(74.) Sevket Sureyya Aydemir, Suyu Arayan Adam (Istanbul: Remzi, 1995; first published in 1959), p. 464.
(75.) Esendal quoted in M. Sunullah Arisoy, "Memduh Sevket Esendal'la Konusma" (A Conversation with Memduh Sevket Esendal), Edebiyatcilarimiz Konusuyor (Istanbul: Varlik Yayinlari 1953), pp. 5-15; reprinted in Memduh Sevket Esendal, Mendil Altinda, Butun Eserleri, Hikayeler 4 (Istanbul: Bilgi Yayinevi, 1992), pp. 18-19.
(76.) Ibid., pp. 16-17.
(77.) Oktay, Cumhuriyet Donemi Edebiyati, pp. 660-661.
(78.) Cetisli, Memduh Sevket Esendal, pp. 51-53.
(79.) Arisoy, "A Conversation with Memduh Sevket Esendal," p. 11.
(80.) Alangu, Cumhuriyetten Sonra Hikaye ve Roman, p. 128.
(81.) Arisoy, "A Conversation with Memduh Sevket Esendal," p. 15.
(82.) See Cetisli, Memduh Sevket Esendal, p. 41.
(83.) But this does not mean that Esendal and other Unionists who advocated "professional representation" favored multi-party democracy. They wanted political elections where political parties represented a professional group. See ibid., p. 45.
(84.) Memduh Sevket Esendal, "Koye Dusmus" (1932), in Otlakci, Butun Eserleri, Hikayeler 3 (Istanbul: Bilgi Yayinevi, 1989), pp. 90-93; Rathbun, The Village in the Turkish Novel, pp. 80-81.
(85.) Memduh Sevket Esendal, "Mudurun Zugurdu" (1925), in Esendal's Mendil Altinda, pp. 127-130.
(86.) Memduh Sevket Esendal, "Iane" (1923), in Esendal's Saha Kulbastisi Hikayeler 3 (Istanbul: Bilgi Yayinevi, 1983), pp. 9-15.
(87.) Memduh Sevket Esendal, "Istin Bitti" (1923), in Esendal, Otlakci, pp. 213-218.
(88.) Esendal, "Keles" (1932) and "Dursun Haci," in Esendal, Mendil Altinda, pp. 92-96, 214-218.
(89.) For an example of the aghas' mistreatment of the peasants, see Esendal's "Yirmi Kurus" (Twenty Piasters) (1922), in Esendal, Otlakci, pp. 161-165.
(90.) Arisoy, "A Conversation with Memduh Sevket Esendal," p. 15.
(91.) Memduh Sevket Esendal, "Esek" (1922), in Esendal, Otlakci, pp. 197-200.
(92.) Oktay, Cumhuriyet Donemi Edebiyati, p. 96.
(93.) See note 69.
(94.) Koy Enstituleri ve Koc Federasyonu Icyuzleri, no author (Ankara: Ayyildiz Matbaasi, 1966), pp. 146-147.
(95.) Fikret Madarali, Tonguc Isgi, p. 113.
(96.) For a discussion of the so-called "village literature," see Oktay, Cumhuriyet Donemi Edebiyati, pp. 122-130, and Naci, Turkiye'de Roman, Chapter 7.
(97.) Demirtas, Turk Edebiyatindaki Anadolu, p. 58.
Asim Karaomerlioglu Bogazici University…