Turkish poet Sezai Karakoc dies at 88

Prominent Turkish poet, writer and intellectual Sezai Karakoc died on Tuesday, the country’s presidential spokesman announced on social media. He was 88 years old.

“Ustad Sezai Karakoc attained the mercy of Allah, leaving behind an exemplary life, a strong web of ideas and a great literary legacy,” Ibrahim Kalin said. “May Allah make his resting place into paradise, his high rank and his happy soul.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he learned of the death of the “resurrection poet” with “deep sorrow” and called him a great thinker of the world of literature and thought “who guided the generations with his ideas “.

“I offer my condolences to his family, his fans and our nation,” he wrote on Twitter.

Born on January 22, 1933 in the province of Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey, his father was a merchant captured by the Russians while fighting on the Caucasus front in World War I.

Spending his childhood in Diyarbakir, he attended secondary school in Kahramanmaras province, southern Turkey, and studied in high school in Gaziantep province.

With a keen interest in literature, Karakoc began reading Western classics during his high school years. He read classical Western and Eastern literature before joining Ankara University to study political science.

While awaiting the results of the entrance exam, Karakoc met Necip Fazil Kisakurek, another prominent Turkish poet and thinker who had a huge influence on him.

In addition to his graduate studies in the 1950s, Karakoc worked for Buyuk Dogu magazine, a conservative political publication founded by Necip Fazil Kisakurek, and shaped the thinking of many generations.

He graduated from university in 1955 and started working at the Turkish Ministry of Finance.

From December 1963 he wrote daily articles for national newspapers including Yeni İstiklal, Yeni İstanbul and the Sabah newspaper in Babiali, the Turkish media capital at the time.

Karakoc later resigned from the ministry to devote more time to literary studies. He wrote Mona Rosa, which has become one of the most famous love poems in Turkish literature.

In 1990, he founded the Dirilis Party (Resurrection) to realize the world he reveals in his poetry and his writings.

He received the Turkish Presidential Prize for Culture and the Arts in 2011.

Ann G. Starbuck