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AKTAY, Salih Zeki

Poet and writer (b. 1896, Şarkikaraağaç / Isparta – d. 22 March 1971, İstanbul). He graduated from Konya High School (1914). He worked as a manager at Afyon Commercial High School, as a teacher at İstanbul High School and as a librarian.

His poems and stories were published in the reviews such as Türk Yurdu, Yeni Mecmua, İçtihad and Gündüz. His poems inspired by Greek mythology were deemed one of the examples of “The New Ancient Greek" in Turkish literature but he could not find the initial interest in his later poetry. According to Cemil Meriç, he "lived a dream in his whole life, not a dream of conquest but of a need to escape. It was an escape from a miserable and mean reality to a wonderful world”. In later years he inclined towards Islamic mysticism with his play Hallac-ı Mansur (Hallac-ı Mansur, the Muslim Mystic)

WORKS:

POETRY: Persefon (Persephone, 1939), Asya Şarkıları (Asia Songs, 1933), Pınar (The Spring, 1936), Rüzgâr (The Wind, 1939), Titan (The Titan, 1966, Tevfik Fikret İçin Şiir (A Poem for Tevfik Fikret), Laton (Laton, the Myths, three books: 1964, 1967 and 1968).

SHORT STORY: Mine Çiçekleri (Vervain, 1944).

PLAY: Hallac-ı Mansur (Hallac-ı Mansur, the Muslim Mystic, 1944).

He also translated from English.