Oya Baydar: The Classic

The author of prose and essays, a living classic of Turkish literature. She was born in 1940, and after graduating from the Department of Sociology at Istanbul University, she entered the department as an assistant. In the 1960s, she joined the left-wing movement and became an active member of the Workers Party of Turkey. Arrested and fired from her job for her political views, she shortly worked as an editor for various magazines. After the military coup in 1980, Baydar was forced to leave Turkey and for 12 years has lived in Germany, and for a short time in Moscow. Her first novel, Allah Çocukları Unuttu [God Forgot His Children], was written when she was seventeen. Her experience with a life in exile and the fall of socialism appeared in the collection of short stories Elveda Alyoşa [Farewell, Alyosa], for which she was awarded the Yunus Nadi Prize. Other awards followed for the novels Kedi Mektupları [Letters of Cats], Sıcak Külleri Kaldı [Hot Ashes Left] and Erguvan Kapısı [Gate of the Judas Tree]. The prose Kayıp Söz [Lost Word], dealing with the Kurdish question, has gained wide attention. Baydar is the founder of the Turkish Peace Association.