Ankara’s short story festival dedicates 15th edition to Yagar Kemal

Yaiar Kemal, the towering figure of contemporary Turkish literature who died on Feb. 28 aged 91, will be remembered this week in Ankara as part of the city’s annual international short story festival, which gets under way on Wednesday in its 15th edition.

The Ankara International Short Story Days run May 20-24 in their 2015 edition, dedicated to the memory of Kemal, who was equally famous for his short stories as his novels.

Latife Tekin, widely considered among the most influential female authors in Turkey and best known for her use of the literary style of magical realism in her novels, will receive the 2015 event’s special honor.

Tekin, whose novels have been translated into English, Dutch, German, French and Italian, will receive her award in a special ceremony following the series’ opening on Wednesday at Ankara University. A panel discussion about Tekin’s body of work will follow.

The festival, a joint effort between the cankaya Municipality, Ankara University and the Ankara International Short Story Days Association, will host Macedonian poet and literary essayist Kata Kulavkova, Georgian fiction writer Davit Turashvili and Sweden-based Kurdish author and journalist Firat Ceweri among this year’s guests of honor.

Author Ahmet Say, the father of classical pianist Fazil Say, will talk about Yaiar Kemal and his work in a special program, while the festival’s last day will see a reading of Haldun Taner’s 1953 short story “Onikiye Bir Var” (One Minute to Twelve) to mark the 100th anniversary of the 20th-century Turkish playwright and author’s birth in 1915.

The rest of the program consists mainly of short story recitals and panel discussions about short story writing. Guests of honor will deliver presentations on topics such as “short stories in Georgian literature” and “the past and present-day of Kurdish short stories.” There will also be a panel discussion about short stories set in Ankara, and another one about contemporary Turkish literature with stories set outside Istanbul.

A panel titled “Literature as an Intercultural Bridge” and another one focusing on the use of masculine language in literature is also on the bill.

Venues hosting events as part of the five-day program include cankaya Municipality’s Contemporary Arts Center, various conference halls of Ankara University and the headquarters of the Ankara International Short Story Days Association.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman