İskender Pala: The Prince of Divan poetry

Born in 1958, the author of the famous “Art Manifesto of a Conservative”, in which he recognises the cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire and Islam. Having studied Turkish literature with a focus on Divan poetry, today he is the professor of Classic Turkish literature at the Istanbul University. He became famous as an untiring advocate and lover of the Ottoman poetry. Pala shares his passion for classical literature in public lectures, which fill halls across the country. For his academic and popularisation activities, he was awarded the Writers’ Union of Turkey Award and the Turkish Language Institute Award for The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Divan Poetry, Writers’ Union of Turkey Award of Inquiry and in 2013, The Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Award. Besides his academic career, he writes historical novels: Babil’de Ölüm İstanbul’da Aşk [Death in Babylon, Love in Istanbul], Katre-i Matem [Grief Drop] and Şah ve Sultan [Shah and Sultan] have reached a hundred thousand in the number of sold copies and are extremely popular.