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ATAY, Falih Rıfkı

Writer (b, 1894, İstanbul - d. 20 March 1971). He also used the pen name Tabişgâhi Lâhuti. He attended the Rehber-i Tahsil High School, Mercan High School and graduated from İstanbul University, Faculty of Literature. He served as a secretary to the Grand Vizier and at the Ministry of the Interior and as the private secretary of Talat Paşa and Cemal Paşa in Syria and Palestine during World War I. During the years of the armistice, he founded the newspaper Akşam (1918) in which he published his articles that were critical of the opposition of the Independence War. He was sentenced to death because of such articles. He was acquitted after the Battle of İnönü. In 1922, he was elected as a parliamentary deputy to the Turkish Grand National Assembly from Bolu. Besides his duty as a deputy that lasted until 1950, he wrote editorial articles, interviews and memoirs in the newspaper Hâkimiyet-î Milliye, which was the journal of official ideology, and in Milliyet, Ulus and Dünya, which he founded in collaboration with Bediî Faik.

His first essays appeared in Servet-i Fünûn, and his first poems in the review Tecelli ve Kadın. His profession as a journalist began with articles published in the review Tanin in 1913. In this period, he also published his articles in various genres in the newspapers Şair, Nedim, Yeni Mecmua and Büyük Mecmua. Falih Rıfkı was a stylist, with a firm control over his discourse and a master of polemics as a journalist. Along with his travel literature, he was mainly famous for his reminiscences with Atatürk, particularly with his work titled Çankaya (Çankaya, 1961), in which he depicted the events during the establishment of the Republic of Turkey with the emphasis on Mustafa Kemal.

He was an advocate of westernization and the Kemalist Revolution until the end of his life; however, he opposed the idea of a pure Turkish language, which he had originally supported in his youth.

WORKS:

MEMOIR: Ateş ve Güneş (Fire and Sun, 1918), Zeytindağı (Zeytindağı, 1931; published with Ateş ve Güneş-Fire and Sun, 1938), Atatürk’ün Bana Anlattıkları (What Atatürk Told Me, 1955), Mustafa Kemal’in Mütareke Defteri (Mustafa Kemal’s Notebook on the Armistice, 1955), Çankaya (Çankaya, 2 volumes, 1961; one volume, 1969), Batış Yılları (Years of Downfall, 1963), Atatürk’ün Hatıraları / 1914-1919 (Memories of Atatürk/1914-1919, 1965), Atatürk Ne İdi? (What was Atatürk?, 1968).

STUDY: Başveren İnkılapçı (The Revolutionist Who Gave His Life, about Ali Suavi, 1954), Babamız Atatürk (Atatürk, Our Father, 1955), Atatürkçülük Nedir (What is Kemalism, 1963).

TRAVEL LITERATURE: Faşist Roma - Kemalist Tiran / Kaybolmuş Makedonya (Fascist Rome-Kemalist Tirana/Lost Macedonia, 1930), Deniz Aşırı (Overseas, 1931), Yeni Rusya (New Russia, 1931), Moskova-Roma (Moscow-Rome, 1932), Bizim Akdeniz (Our Mediterranean, 1934), Taymis Kıyıları (Coasts of Taymis, 1934), Tuna Kıyıları (Banks of the River Danube, 1938), Hind (India, 1944), Yolcu Defteri (Notebook of a Traveler, 1966), Gezerek Gördüklerim (What I Saw While Traveling, 1970).

NOVEL: Roman (Novel, 1932).

ANECDOTE-INTERVIEW: Eski Saat (The Old Clock, 1933), Niçin Kurtulmak (Why Escape?, 1953), Çile (Suffering, 1955), İnanç (Faith, 1964), Kurtuluş (Liberation, 1966), Pazar Konuşmaları (Sunday Conversations, 1966), Bayrak (The Flag, 1970).