Halid Ziya Usakligil

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Uşakligil, Halid Ziya


Born July 31, 1866, in Istanbul; died there Mar. 27, 1945. Turkish writer and state figure.

Uşakligil was a prominent representative of the literary school associated with the journal Served Fünun (A Wealth of Knowledge) and was the first Turkish author to write novels and short stories according to Western European models. He was the publisher of Hizmet (1885–1907), Izmir’s first humanist daily newspaper. In 1911 he was elected a member of Turkey’s parliament, and in 1919 he was appointed first secretary to Sultan Mehmed V.

Usakhgil’s first published books were the novel The Outcast (1886) and the lyric Poems in Prose (1887), works written in a form new to Turkish literature. He wrote a number of books with a marked social orientation that dealt mainly with the Turkish intelligentsia from various walks of life. Examples were the novels Ferdi and Company (1894), Azure and Black (1897), A Forbidden Love (1900), and Shattered Lives (1924), the play A Nightmare (1918), and the collections of short stories The Faded Bouquet (1901), A Poetic Dream (1911), and A Tale of Love (1920).

Uşakligil was the first to introduce the figure of the “little man” into Turkish literature. His works have psychological depth, and in some the influence of the French naturalists is apparent. Uşakligil also wrote the memoirs Inside the Palace and Outside of It (vols. 1–3, 1940–42) and Forty Years (vols. 1–6, 1936–69), which are valuable sources for the study of Turkish life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition, Uşakligil wrote a collection of articles and essays on art and literature, On Art (vols. 1–3, 1938–55), books on Western European literary history, and translations of foreign literary works.


Al’kaeva, L. O. Tvorchestvo Khalida Zii Ushaklygilia. Moscow, 1966.
Aizenshtein, N. A. Iz istorii turetskogo realizma. Moscow, 1968.
Akalin, L. S. Halit Ziya Uşakligil. Istanbul, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.