Novelist (b. 1910, İstanbul - d. 21 April 1973). His full name was Kemal Tahir Demir. He was the son of Tahir Bey who was aide-de-camp to Sultan Abdülhamid II. He graduated from Kasımpaşa Cezayirli Hasanpaşa Secondary School (1923). He left Galatasaray High School when he was in the tenth class and worked as an assistant lawyer (1928-32). He worked for the newspapers, Vakit, Haber, Son Posta, Karagöz and for the reviews Yedigün and Karikatür as editor, page coordinator, interview writer and translator (1932-38). He was arrested with Nazım Hikmet on the charge of provoking a military riot and was tried at the Naval Court. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and stayed in Çankırı, Çorum, Kırşehir, Malatya Prisons for 12 years (1938-1950). After being discharged from prison following the 1950 elections, he made a living by translating novels often using pen names. It is said that he himself wrote some of the Mayk Hammer series of detective novels that he translated. He established the Düşün Publishing House with Aziz Nesin (1957-60). He spent his last years writing and publishing novels. He is buried in Erenköy Sahrayı Cedit Graveyard.
He entered the world of
literature with his poems and short stories published in the reviews, İçtihad
(1931), Yeni Kültür, Geçit (1932-34) and Yedigün (1935). He is
known mostly for his novels published after
NOVEL: Sağırdere (Deaf Stream, 1955), Esir Şehrin İnsanları (People of the Captive City, 1956), Körduman (Blind Smoke, 1957), Rahmet Yolları Kesti (Mercy Blocked the Ways, 1957), Yediçınar Yaylası (Seven Plane Tree Plateau, 1958), Köyün Kamburu (Hunchback of the Village, 1959), Esir Şehrin Mahpusları (Prisoners of the Captive City, 1962), Kelleci Memet (Memet the Executioner, 1962), Yorgun Savaşçı (Tired Warrior, 1965), Bozkırdaki Çekirdek (Seed on the Steppe, 1967), Devlet Ana (Mother State, 1967), Kurt Kanunu (Law of the Wolf, 1969), Büyük Mal (Large Property, 1970), Yol Ayrımı (Divergence on the Way, 1971), Namusçular (Defenders of Honor, 1974), Karılar Koğuşu (Dormitory of Women, 1974), Hür Şehrin İnsanları (People of the Independent City, 2. Volume, 1977).
SHORT STORY: Göl İnsanları (People of the Lake, 1955).
The book titled Kemal Tahir’den Fatma İrfan’a (From Kemal Tahir to Fatma İrfan, 1979) including his letters to his first wife and the book titled Kemal Tahir’in Sohbetleri (The Conversations of Kemal Tahir, 1980) were collected by İsmet Bozdağ and published after his death. New editions of his works were made. His work, Notlar (Notes, prepared by Cengiz Yazoğlu and collected in 13 volumes: Notlar / Kitap Notları (Notes / Book Notes), Notlar / Mektuplar (Notes/Letters), Notlar / Roman Notları-2- Batı Çıkmazı (Notes / Novel Notes-2- West Dead-End), Notlar / Roman Notları-3-Patriyot Ömer (Novel Notes-3-Patriot Ömer), Gülen Azap Çıkmazı (Dead End of the Smiling Pain), Notlar / Sanat-Edebiyat-4 (Notes/Art-Literature-4), Notlar / Sanat-Edebiyat-1 (Notes / Art-Literature-1), Notlar / Sanat-Edebiyat-3 (Notes / Art-Literature-3), Notlar / 1950 Öncesi / Cezaevi Notları (Notes / Before 1950 / Prison Notes), Notlar / 1950 Öncesi Şiirler ve Ziya İlhan’a Mektuplar (Notes / Poems Before 1950 and Letters to Ziya İlhan), Notlar / Çöküntü (Notes / Depression), Notlar / Osmanlılık / Bizans (Notes / Ottomans / Byzantines), Notlar / Roman Notları-1 (Notes / Novel Notes-1), Topal Kasırga (Crippled Whirlwind), Darmadağın Olan Devlet (State in Disorder), Notlar / Sosyalizm - Toplum ve Gerçek (Notes / Socialism - Society and Reality, 1989-92).
REFERENCE: : Tahir Alangu / Cumhuriyetten Sonra Hikâye ve Roman – 3 (s. 449-452, 1965), Cemil Meriç / Bu Ülke (1974), Dr. Hulusi Dosdoğru / Batı Aldatmacılığı ve Putlara Karşı Kemal Tahir (1975), Olcay Önertoy / Türk Roman ve Öyküsü (s. 91-100, 1984), İhsan Işık / Yazarlar Sözlüğü (1990, 1998) - “Kemal Tahir ve Başka Dünyalar Aramak” (İki Yobaz, 1996), Fethi Naci / Nâzım Hikmet’le Kemal Tahir - 2 (Cumhuriyet Kitap, 1.2.2001), TBE Ansiklopedisi (c. 2, 2001), Memet Fuat / İncelemeler (2002), Halit Refiğ / Gerçeğin Değişkenliği: Kemal Tahir (2002), İhsan Işık / Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi (2001, 2004) – Encyclopedia of Turkish Authors (2005) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, gen. 2. bas. 2007) - Ünlü Edebiyatçılar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 4, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).