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ARSLAN (Cumalı), Mehmet

Poet and writer (b. 3 April 1932, Ağmaç Village (Mortagonovo) / Razgrat / Bulgaria). His real name is Mehmet Arslan. He used the surname Cumalı in his works. He attended primary and secondary school in his village, then he improved himself through various courses. He had to work in heavy-conditioned jobs for years since his father died when Cumalı was too young. He could work as a teacher only for few years. He was imprisoned in 1964, for being opposed against the Bulgarian governors’ restrictions and prohibitions on Turkish minority in Bulgaria. He was sentenced to heavy imprisonment for one and half year. He was released from Eskizağra Prison because of general amnesty.

His works, fruits of his studies of many years, and some of his research documents were seized and burnt by the police and he was divested of his political rights. In 1977 he immigrated to motherland with his family. He first settled in Eskişehir and then Çorlu in 1983. He worked as shopkeeper and construction worker till 1994, and then he retired. He is the correspondent with Yellow Press Card of Bizim Anayurt newspaper and a member of Çorlu Writers Society.

He began to write quadrants, anecdotes, puzzles, satires, poems and articles and took part in folklore activities when he was in secondary school. His first poem was published in the newspaper Eylülcü Çocuk (Bulgaria) in 1947. After 1985 his works were published in the newspapers Takvim, Türkiye, Şafak, Yeni İnan, Anayurt, Çerkezköy and in the reviews Ana, Ozan, Tuna Boyu, Balkanların Sesi, Ra Sanat, Diyanet Çocuk, Ümit Sofiya, Tuna, Genç Bay Prizien, Sevgi Yolu and in the anthologies Ana (Mother), Ozan (Folk Poet), Türkiye Şairleri (Poets of Turkey) and Sevgi Yolu (Way of Love). He wrote for the newspaper Marmara Ereğlisi Sesi under the title “Biz Göçmenler” (We Immigrants, 2004-).

WORKS:

CHILDREN’S POETRY: Bir Demet Goncagül (A Bunch of Rose Bud, 1998), Çocuk Manileri (Quatrains for Children, 2000), Sen de Bir Çiçeksin (You are a Flower, too, 2001).

RESEARCH-COLLECTION: Ağmaç Köyü (Ağmaç Village, Balcı Ahmet, 2002), Ağmaç Köyü’nde Söylenmiş Fıkra Gibi Şakalar ve Maniler (Anecdotal Jokes and Quadrants Told in Ağmaç Village, 2004), Razgrat Kasabası’nın Kuruluşu ve Bugünü (Settlement of Razgrat Town and its Today, 2005).