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ABAK, Şaban

Poet (b. 1963, Ortabahçe / Aşkale / Erzurum). He learnt the Holy Koran by heart when he was seven years old. He has also used the pen name Şaban Özben. He completed his elementary school education in Hasanbey village in Horasan. After, he finished his secondary education in Erzurum High School and Kandilli High School (1982). When he was in the third year (1986), he discontinued his education at Ankara University, Faculty of Law, which he had attended for a while. He graduated from İstanbul University, Faculty of Communication, Department of Radio and Television (1991). He discontinued his masters entitled “Literature Adaptations on Television” which he had started in the same department. He worked as the editor of the art and literature page in Yeni Devir newspaper, as editorial manager at Mavera journal (April – October, 1987), as a producer for the Türkiye Newspaper Radio and Television Corporation, as a news director, broadcaster and in the advertising department at AK TV. After 1997, he was a teacher in İstanbul and worked for a trade union in Ankara. He was elected as a member of the board of directors at the Union of Allied Educationists Head Office in 2002 and to the board of directors of the Writers Union of Turkey in 2004.

He published his first articles and poems during his high school years in newspapers in Erzurum such as Hürsöz, Aziziye and Doğu Ekspres. From 1983, his poems and literary articles were published in reviews such as Töre, İkindiyazıları, Dolunay, Genç Dost, Kayıtlar, Albatros, Mavera, Ayane, Dergâh, Kaşgar, Yalnızardıç, Yedi İklim, Hece, Şehrengiz and Kılavuz and in Zaman, Yeni Şafak, Selam newspapers. He won first prize in 1981 in the poetry competition of the Turkish Religious Foundation and with his poem Buruk Hikâye, the 1986 Yunus Emre Poetry Competition. He also wrote two radio plays called “Malcolm X” and İşport/Acılar (Peddlers).

WORKS:

POETRY: Bağdat'tan Dönen Şiirler (Poems Returning from Baghdad, 1990).

ANTOLOGY: Güldeste (Anthology of Poetry, in collaboration with Hüseyin Atlansoy, 1991).

ESSAY: Karpuz Kestim Yiyen Yok (I Cut the Watermelon, There is No One to Eat It, 2004), Türkülerimiz ve Simgelerimiz Hakkında Ezber Bozan Yorumlar (Interpretations of Our Songs and Symbols that are Ruined by Learning by Heart, 2004).