Who is Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar?

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (June 23, 1901, Istanbul - January 24, 1962, Istanbul) is a Turkish poet, novelist, essayist, literary historian, politician and academic.

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, one of the first teachers of the Republic generation; He is a well-known poet with his poem "Time in Bursa" by a wide audience. Tanpınar, who focused on many genres such as poetry, story, novel, essay, article and history of literature, also published an essay series of five articles under the name of “Twenty Five Years' Mısraları”.

TBMM VII. period he is a deputy of Maraş.


He was born on June 23, 1901 in Şehzadebaşı. His father is Hüseyin Fikri Efendi of Georgian origin and his mother is Nesime Bahriye Hanım. Tanpınar is the youngest of the family's three children. He spent his childhood in Ergani, Sinop, Siirt, Kirkuk and Antalya, where his father, a judge, worked. He lost his mother from typhus in 1915 during a trip from Kirkuk. After completing his high school education in Antalya, he went to Istanbul in 1918 for higher education.

After studying as a boarding student at Halkalı Agricultural School for a year, he entered Istanbul University Faculty of Letters in 1919 with the influence of Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, whom he knew from his poems when he was a high school student. He attended the lectures of teachers such as Yahya Kemal, Mehmed Fuad Köprülü, Cenab Şahabeddin, Ömer Ferit Kam, Babanzâde Ahmed Naim. In 1923, he graduated from the faculty of literature with the undergraduate thesis written by Şeyhî on the mesnevi titled “Hüsrev ü Şirin”.

Tanpınar, who started teaching literature at Erzurum High School in 1923, taught at Konya High School in 1926, Ankara High School in 1927, Ankara Gazi Education Institute in 1930 and Kadıköy High School in Istanbul in 1932. He became acquainted with classical western music thanks to the records in the discotheque of the Mûsiki Teacher Training School affiliated to the Gazi Middle Teachers' School and the German teachers working at the school. His lectures at the Fine Arts Academy also aroused his interest in western plastic arts.

He started publishing poems again in this period. After the poem "Dead" published in Milli Mecmua in 1926, he published a total of seven poems in 1927 and 1928 (excluding the poem "Leylâ"), all of which were in Hayat magazine. His first article was published in Hayat magazine on 20 December 1928.

Two translations of Ahmet Hamdi, who started translation as a second field of work other than poetry, were published in 1929, one by ETA Hoffmann ("Kremon Violin") and the other from Anatole France ("Goose Footed Queen Kebab House"). .

At the Turkish and Literature Teachers Congress held in Ankara in 1930, Tanpınar said that Ottoman literature should be removed from education and that the history of literature should be taught in schools by considering Tanzimat as the beginning, and caused important discussions in the congress. In the same year, together with Ahmet Kutsi Tecer, he started publishing the magazine Vision in Ankara.

He returned to Istanbul after being appointed to Kadıköy High School in 1932. He was appointed to Sanayi-i Nefise in 1933 to teach the "aesthetic mythology" lessons that were vacated after the death of Ahmed Hâşim. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Tanzimat, he was appointed to the "1939th century Turkish literature" chair, which was established within the Faculty of Literature by the order of the Minister of Education Hasan Âli Yücel in 19, even though he did not have a doctorate, he was appointed as the "new Turkish literature professor". he was tasked with writing the history of his literature. With the influence of the history of literature he prepared, he shaped his writing activities around the new Turkish literature in the 1940s. He wrote articles for book reviews and the Encyclopedia of Islam. He did his military service as an artillery lieutenant in Kırklareli at the age of 1940 in 39.

Between the years 1943-1946 were found in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey as a deputy Maras. When he was not nominated by the party in the 1946 elections, he worked as an inspector at the Ministry of National Education for a while. He returned to the academy aesthetics professor in 1948 and to the chair at the Faculty of Letters in 1949.

In 1953, the faculty of literature sent Tanpınar to Europe for six months. For three weeks to attend the Paris Filmology Congress in 1955, for a month to attend the Venice Art History Congress in 1955, for a week to attend the Munich Constitutional Congress in 1957, the philosophy congress held in Venice in 1958. went abroad for a week to attend. In 1959 he went back to Europe for a year on a Rockefeller scholarship to raise funds for the second volume of the history of literature. He had the opportunity to see England, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria while traveling abroad.

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, whose health was worsening gradually, died in Istanbul after a heart attack on January 23, 1962. His funeral prayer was performed in Süleymaniye Mosque and was buried next to Yahya Kemal's grave in Rumelihisarı Âşiyân Cemetery. The first two lines of the famous poem "What Am I In Time" were written on the Tombstone:

"What am I in time
Nor is it wholly outside… "

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar was a member of the High Council of Real Estate Antiquities and Monuments, the Association of Those Who Love Yahya Kemal and the Marcel Proust Friends Association in France.

Literary life

Yahya Kemal played an important role in the formation of his taste in poetry and his views on the nation and history. [1] “Mosul Evenings” in “Sixth Book”, a series published by Celâl Sahir Erozan as a collection of poems and stories, was the first poem he published (July 1920). His later poems were published in culture and literature magazines such as Dergâh, Milli Mecmua, Anadolu Mecmuası, Hayat, Göreme, Yeni Türk Mecmuası, Varlık, Kültür Haftası, Ağaç, Olkü, İstanbul, Aile, Yeditepe. In the Dergâh, published by Yahya Kemal, 1921 of his poems were published between 1923-11. The first version of his most well-known poem “Time in Bursa” was published in the magazine Ülkü in 1941 with the title “Hülya Hours in Bursa”. He bought thirty-seven poems for his book, which was published under the name of “Poems” with a selection he made recently after his death. This work is Tanpınar's first and only poetry book. All of the poems he deems appropriate to be included in this work are in syllabic meter. There are 74 poems in the anthology titled “All His Poems”, which were brought together by İnci Enginün after his death.

In 1930 his first article "About Poetry" was published.

As a scientist “XIX. He brought a new point of view and perspective to literary historiography with his work titled “Century Turkish Literature History”. He attached great importance to details both in this work and in other literary writings, and blended his poetic style about literary figures and texts with a scientific understanding of history based on documents. This work has been conceived in two volumes, but could not be completed. The first volume published deals with the period starting from Tanzimat up to 1885.

He published his second book "Namık Kemal Anthology" in 1942. In 1943, he published "Abdullah Efendinin Rüyaları", which includes his stories. This is his first published work of literature. In the same year, his famous poems such as “Yağmur”, “Roses and Goblets” and “Raks” were published; The poem "Hülya Hours in Bursa" was reprinted with the title "Time in Bursa".

His first novel, Mahur Beste, was serialized in the magazine Ülkü in 1944. Tanpınar's important work, Five Cities, was published in 1946. After the novel Huzur was serialized in Cumhuriyet in 1948, it was converted into a book with great changes and published in 1949. In the same year, the XIX, ordered by the Minister of National Education Hasan Ali Yücel. He published the first volume of 600 pages of his work titled “The History of Turkish Literature”. The second volume of this work, which he designed as two volumes, is unfinished. Her novel, Outside of the Scene, was serialized in the newspaper Yeni Istanbul in 1950.

In 1954, the novel The Time Regulation Institute was divided into Yeni Istanbul newspaper; In 1955, his second story book Summer Rain was published. He focused on his articles published in Cumhuriyet newspaper in 1957 and 1958.

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar has translations of "Alkestis" (Ankara 1943), "Elektra" (Ankara 1943) and "Medeia" (Ankara 1943) from Euripides, and "Greek Sculpture" (Istanbul 1945) from Henry Lechat.

After his death

Many of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's work, which he could not publish in his life, were published one by one in the years following his death.

With the increasing interest in Tanpınar after the 1970s, many works and articles were written and theses were prepared on his life, memories, personality and the main themes and ideas in his works. The compilation titled “A Rose in the Darkness: Writings on Tanpınar” by Abdullah Uçman and Handan İnci brings together the detailed bibliography of 2007 books and 855 articles about Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar published until 27 and the texts of 110 selected articles.

Enis Batur prepared a book named “Selections from Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar” in 1992. In 1998, “Letters from Tanpınar to Hasan Âli Yücel” was published by Canan Yücel Eronat.

Tanpınar's articles and interviews that have not been included in the previous books were collected and published under the name of “The Secret of Jewelry”. The notes he started to write in 1953 and kept until his death in 1962 were published in 2007 with the title “Alone with Tanpınar in the Light of Diaries”.

Apart from these, 111 letters compiled by Zeynep Kerman were published under the title "Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's Letters". Canan Yücel Eronat prepared “Letters from Tanpınar to Hasan Âli Yücel”. Alpay Kabacalı compiled 7 letters with the title "Letters to Bedrettin Tuncel". Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's diaries were also collected by İnci Enginün and Zeynep Kerman with the necessary notes and explanations under the title "Along with Tanpınar in the Light of the Diaries". The lecture notes taken by his students were published under the names of "Literature Courses" and "New Lecture Notes from Tanpınar".


Although Tanpınar did not produce many works, especially in the field of novel, in addition to the publication of his works after his death, nearly forty review books were published about him and became one of the main study areas of the new Turkish literature.

In the process of modernization, Tanpınar deals with the individual's squeezing between traditional culture and modern culture, the conflict he experiences, its reflection on social life, and the reflections on the individual's inner world in his novels.



  • Peace (1949)
  • The Time Regulation Institute (1962)
  • Outstage (1973)
  • Mahur Beste (1975)
  • Woman on the Moon (1987)
  • Suat's Letter (2018, June. Handan İnci)


  • Poems (1961)


  • XIX. Century of Turkish Literature (1949, 1966, 1967)
  • Tevfik Fikret (1937)


  • Five Cities (1946)
  • Yahya Kemal (1962)
  • Articles on Literature (1969) (compiled posthumously)
  • As I Live (1970) (compiled posthumously)


  • Dreams of Abdullah Efendi (1943)
  • Summer Rain (1955)
  • Stories (compiled after the death of the author, this book contains stories that have not been published before, as well as the stories from his two books)

Günceleme: 18/09/2020 00:30

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