Ece Temelkuran


Ece Temelkuran (1973) is een Turkse schrijfster en (politiek) journaliste. Haar columns werden internationaal gepubliceerd in onder andere The Guardian en Le Monde. Temelkuran werd meermaals bekroond voor haar werk, onder andere met de Free Thought and Democracy Award (2009) en de Pen for Peace Award (2001).

In haar werk schrijft Ece Temelkuran over de Koerdische en Armeense kwestie, over de vrouwenbeweging, over politieke gevangenen - in Turkije erg controversiële onderwerpen. De kritiek op de Turkse regering die Temelkuran in haar artikels vaak laat doorschemeren, lag aan de basis van haar ontslag bij de Turkse krant Habertürk.

Als schrijfster maakte Temelkuran maakte haar debuut met de gedichtenbundel Bütün Kadınların Kafası Karışıktır (1994). Sindsdien publiceerde ze verschillende essaybundels en romans, die onder andere vertaald werden naar het Engels, Arabisch, Duits, Nederlands en het Kroaats.

Het geluid van bananen, de Nederlandse vertaling van haar roman Muz Sesleri (Everest, 2010) verscheen in 2013 bij Uitgeverij Van Gennep. In deze roman staat Beiroet symbool voor de politieke turbulentie in het Midden Oosten. Temelkurans meest recente werk is Devir (Everest, 2015).

Ece Temelkuran verblijft als writer in residence in Brussel in december 2015. Haar residentie kadert in een samenwerking met Europalia 45/25.  


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© Foto: Muhsin Akgün  



Dear Annelies,

This letter is written to you because of the intense conversations we had about being a writer in the land of war and conflict and writing for the Western world.
I don't exactly recall your question that started our conversation about the particular issue but I remember myself almost hysterically talking about being a writer in and outside Turkey: "It is like a stage without a back-stage. It is like performing for two irrelevant audiences demanding totally different plays. It is damn tiring. Consuming."

Being very well aware of misery in using the word "performing", I carried on with something like this: "The Europeans are secretly asking from you to be the oppressed intellectual, agonizing artist etc. That reduces the writer to this one paragraph of CV, consisting of expressions like ‘fired from her work', ‘censored in several media' bla bla bla... And they almost never have the patience to listen to the rest of the story."

"On the other hand" I said, "The country is in such a mess that it becomes impossible to think clearly, to create or to contemplate the situation. They, as well, reduce you to ‘taking a stand'. You don't write, you don't think, you just take a stand and shout with people alike. It is madness. And damn tiring too."

When I arrived from Istanbul in Brussels, to the "housing the heart of Europe", the "house" was locked down. To my luck, Europe was too occupied to ask for a performance from "the oppressed writer". So here it was, a spacious back stage. Uninterrupted yet uncharted reading, writing and walking were deeply missed. So, I did all. Moreover, the few people I met (Catherine Vuylsteke, Dirk Vermaelen, Bozena Coignet, Johny and the others) throughout the stay were surprisingly interested in the "rest of the story". This might be the only one-month-time in several years that I did not talk about politics and did not perform at all. My soul was stripped off the stage requirements. So, dear Annelies, this is why you caught me off guard, on the back stage, without the costume, off the role.

I am thankful for our conversation and my own embarrassing excitement when talking about the issue, because in a very long while that was the first time that I acknowledged how tired I am. Well, I guess it is about time that I leave the "play".

Thank you.




De brief die Ece Temelkuran schreef aan journaliste en collega-schrijfster Annelies Beck verscheen in De Standaard der Letteren op 19 februari 2016. 

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23.11.15 > 21.12.15

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