Storywriter and novelist (b. 15 June 1929, Akçaköy / Yeşilova / Burdur – d. 11 October 1999, Essen / Germany). After attending the Akçaköy Elementary School (1943) and the Isparta-Gönen Village Institute (1948), he worked as an elementary school teacher for five years and graduated from the Ankara Gazi Institute of Education (1955).
He worked as a teacher of Turkish in Yeşilova, Hafik, Konya and Şavşat, and as an inspector of elementary schools in the districts of Ankara. He became the president of the Teachers Union of Turkey and the Association of All Teachers Unity and Solidarity, where he was one of the founders. He worked as an expert at the National Folklore Institute (1967), the director of the Public Relations and Publication in the Middle East Technical University, and a counselor at the Ministry of Culture (1978). He was sent to Germany by the Ministry of National Education. He was arrested and tried after the military coup on 12 March (1971) for the case of the Teachers Union of Turkey, and was once again tried in 1975 for the same case; however, he was acquitted. He moved to Duisburg in Germany in 1979, where he worked as an educational adviser until 1995. After 1963, he traveled across the United States, Jamaica, China, Australia, and many European and Central Asian countries. He was a member of the Turkish Language Association, the Writers Syndicate of Turkey, the Turkish Authors Association and the Union of German Writers. His wife was Muzaffer Baykurt (Küçük). He had three sons called Işık (b. 1957), Sönmez (b. 1959) and Tonguç (b. 1962).
His first worked with the title Fesleğen Kokulum (My Darling with Sweet Basil Smell) was published in the June-July 1945 issue of the review Türk'e Doğru in Eskişehir. In the following years, he published his short stories, poems and articles in the reviews and newspapers Köy Enstitüsü Dergisi (1945-46), Kaynak (1947-55), Yücel (1949), Yeni Ufuklar (1951-76), Varlık (1949-95), Yeditepe (1952-85), İmece (1960-70), Türk Dili Dergisi (1965-75), Cumhuriyet (1959-95), Öncü (1960), A-b-c ve Öğretmen Dünyası (1980-95) and Evrensel (1995-96).
His novel with the title Yılanların Öcü (The Revenge of the Snakes) was also adapted to cinema and was translated into German, and ranked first at the Yunus Nadi Novel Award in 1958. Tırpan (The Scythe) brought him the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation Novel Award in 1970, the Turkish Language Association Novel Award in 1971, and the Avni Dilligil Theatre Award in 1980. He collected the Sait Faik Short Story Award in 1974 with Can Pazarı (The Massacring Place), the Orhan Kemal Novel Award in 1978 with Kara Ahmet Destanı (The Epic of Kara Ahmed), and his novel for children Sakarca (Clumsily) was elected as the play of the year in 1979 by the review Tiyatro 79. Besides, he received the Berlin Senate Children's Literature Award in 1984 and the German Industrial Association Culture Award in 1985.
NOVEL: Yılanların Öcü (The Revenge of the Snakes, 1959), Irazca'nın Dirliği (The Order of Irazca, 1961), Onuncu Köy (The Tenth Village, 1961), Kerem ile Aslı (Kerem and Aslı, 1964), Amerikan Sargısı (American Bandage, 1967), Kaplumbağalar (The Turtles, 1967), Tırpan (The Scythe, 1970), Köygöçüren (The Village-Mover, 1973), Keklik (The Partridge, 1975), Kara Ahmet Destanı (The Epic of Kara Ahmed, 1977), Yayla (The Plateau, 1977), Yüksek Fırınlar (High Ovens, 1983), Koca Ren (The Great Ren, 1986), Yarım Ekmek (Half a Bread, 1997).
SHORT STORY: Çilli (The Freckled, 1955), Efendilik Savaşı (The War for Mastership, 1959), Karın Ağrısı (Ache in the Stomach, 1961), Cüce (The Dwarf, 1964), Anadolu Garajı (The Garage of Anatolia, 1970), Onbinlerce Kağnı (Ten Thousands of Ox Carts, 1971), Can Pazarı (The Massacring Place, 1973), Kale Kale (Castle by Castle, 1978), İçerdeki Oğul (The Son Inside, 1974), Sınırdaki Ölü (The Dead on the Border, 1975), Gece Vardiyası (The Night Shift, 1982), Barış Çöreği (The Cake of Peace, 1982), Duisburg Treni (The Duisburg Train, 1986), Bizim İnce Kızlar (Our Thin Girls, 1992), Dikenli Tel (The Barded Wire, 1998), Anamla Yıllar (Years with My Mother), Rur Havzası'nda (In the Basin of Rur), Türk Bahçeleri (The Turkish Gardens), Ateşdikenleri (The Thorns of Fire).
FOLK TALE: Kerem ile Aslı (Kerem and Aslı, 1964).
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE: Topal Arkadaş (The Lame Friend, 1964), Sarı Köpek (The Yellow Dog, 1964), Sakarca (Clumsily, 1975), Yandım Ali (Yandım Ali, 1979), Dünya Güzeli (Miss World, 1985), Saka Kuşları (The Goldfinches, 1985).
ESSAY-RESEARCH: Efkâr Tepesi (The Hill of Wistful Sadness, 1960), Şamaroğlanları (The Whipping Boys, 1976), Yeni Kölelik mi? (New Slavery?, 1996), Benli Yazılar (Essays with Me, 1998).
POETRY: Bir Uzun Yol (A Long Way, 1989).
MEMOIR: Özüm Çocuktur (My Heart is Childish, 1998), Köy Enstitülü Delikanlı (The Young Man from the Village Institute, 1999), Kavacık Köyünün Öğretmeni (The Teacher of the Village Kavacık, 2000), Köşe Bucak Anadolu (Anatolia with Every Nook and Cranny, 2001), Bir TÖS Vardı (There Was Once a the Teachers Union of Turkey, 2001), Genç Emekli (The Young Retired, 2002), Sıladan Uzakta (Far from the Motherland, 2002), Dost Yüzleri (Faces of Friends, portraits, 2002).
TRAVEL LITERATURE: Dünyanın Öte Ucu (The Other Edge of the World).