Sadri Ertem

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sadri Ertem


Born 1900 in Istanbul; died Nov. 12, 1943, in Ankara. Turkish writer.

Sadri Ertem graduated from the philosophy section of the literature faculty of the University of Istanbul in 1920 and worked as a journalist and teacher. He served as deputy to the Grand National Assembly from Kütahya Vilayet from 1939 to 1943. His first works were pubished in 1917. Sadri Ertem’s first novel, When the Spinning Wheels Stop (1931), which describes the social ills of the Turkish countryside, became widely known. His short-story collection Mister Comma (1935) depicts cosmopolitan circles of the Turkish intelligentsia, while his novel The Degraded Ones (1935) describes the life of déclassé elements. His collections of novellas, which include The Peasant in the Top Hat (1933) and Fear (1934), are anti-imperialist and antibourgeois in tone. In articles on public affairs Sadri Ertem advocated the social mission of literature.


Birvagonpenceresinden. Istanbul, 1934.


Aizenshtein, N. A. Iz istorii turetskogo realizma. Moscow, 1968.
Mutluay, R. 50yilin türk edebiyati. Istanbul, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The arguments from within the Muslim establishment were mirrored by their counterparts, the westernized urban intellectuals, among them the novelist Sadri Ertem. Questioning the Kemalist interpretation of modernity, Iskilipli Atif's quest for authenticity was echoed by Ertem as he warned against the construction of a Turkish identity based on superficial western mimicry.
The quest for true westernization made Sadri Ertem question the connection between physical appearance and attitudes in a newspaper article entitled Avrupa Kafasi (The European Mentality [Head]), written and published in the newspaper Vakit (Time) in 1929:
Sadri Ertem, like Mustafa Kemal, conceived the fez as an identity marker that set the reactionary, oriental, Muslim, Ottoman "other" apart from the progressive, revolutionary, secular "we" of Turkish nationalism and Western civilization.
In his 1933 short story, Silindir Sapka Giyen Koylu (The Peasant with the Top Hat), Sadri Ertem tells a touching tale of the contrast between the urbanized elite and Anatolian peasants, a contrast apparently hidden by the fact that the peasants are wearing top hats.
(53.) Sadri Ertem, "Avrupa Kafasi" (The European Mentality), Vakit, August 8th 1929.