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(pen name of Mehmet Raşit Öğütcü). Born Sept. 15, 1914, in Ceyhan; died June 2, 1970, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Turkish writer.
Orhan Kemal worked as a weaver and a waiter. Almost all his works were based on his experiences. He first began writing as a poet under the pen names Raşit Kemal and Orhan Raşit. For propagandizing “red ideas,” Orhan Kemal was imprisoned for a time with Nazim Hikmet, who helped him learn Russian and introduced him to Russian and Soviet literature. The hero of Orhan Kemal’s short stories, as well as of his novels Cemile (1952) and An Occurrence (1955; Russian translation, 1963), is the “little man,” who is oppressed by a life of desperation.
Orhan Kemal translated M. A. Sholokhov’s Virgin Soil Upturned into Turkish. In 1969 he visited the USSR. An annual literary prize bearing his name has been awarded in Turkey since 1971. The works of Orhan Kemal have been translated into many of the world’s languages.
WORKSNâzim Hikmet’le üc buçuk yd. Istanbul, 1965.
Arkadaş ishklan. Istanbul, 1968.
Kaçak. Istanbul, 1970.
İstanbul’dan çizgiler. Istanbul, 1971.
In Russian translation:
Bor’ba za khleb. Moscow, 1953.
Prestupnik. Moscow, 1961.
Broshennaia v bezdnu. Moscow, 1965.
Mstitel’naia volshebnitsa. [Foreword by S. N. Uturgauri.] Moscow, 1967.
REFERENCESBabaev, A. A. Ocherki sovremennoi turetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1959.
Alangu, T. Cumhuriyetten sonra hikâye ve roman, vol. 2. Istanbul, 1965.