Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

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Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar
Hamdi Tanpınar (6).jpg
Born (1901-06-23)23 June 1901
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 24 January 1962(1962-01-24) (aged 60)
Istanbul, Turkey
Resting place Aşiyan Asri Cemetery
Occupation Writer, Poet, Scholar
Nationality Turkey
Alma mater Istanbul University

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (23 June 1901 - 24 January 1962) was one of the most important modern novelists and essayists of Turkish literature. He was also a member of the Turkish parliament (the Grand National Assembly of Turkey) between 1942 and 1946.


Tanpınar was born in Istanbul on 23 June 1901. His father was a judge, Hüseyin Fikri Efendi. Hüseyin Fikri Efendi was Georgian from Maçahel.[1][2] Tanpınar's mother died at Mosul, when Tanpınar was thirteen. Because his father's vocation required frequent relocation, Tanpınar continued his education in several different cities, including Istanbul, Sinop, Siirt, Kirkuk, and Antalya. After quitting veterinary college, he resumed his educational career at the Faculty of Literature at Istanbul University, which he completed in 1923. As a literature teacher, he taught at high schools in Erzurum (1923–1924), Konya, Ankara, the Educational Institute of Gazi and the Fine Arts Academy. At the Fine Arts Academy, besides teaching literature, Tanpınar taught in branches of aesthetics in arts, history of art and mythology (1932–1939). From 1942 to 1946, he entered the Turkish National Assembly as parliamentar of Kahramanmaraş. In 1953, he made an extensive journey to Europe, traveling many countries within six months such as France, Belgium, Holland, England, Spain and Italy. Tanpınar died of a heart attack on the 24 January 1962 in Istanbul. His grave is in the Aşiyan Graveyard, Istanbul.


He is one of the most important authors of Turkish literature, successfully combining Eastern and Western cultures within his writings. Yahya Kemal Beyatlı played an important role in his upbringing. In his poetry, he uses Turkish classical music and dreaming as the textile of his works. Both in his poetry and novels psychological analyses, history, the characteristics of his time, the binding between the society and the individual, dreams and the problems of civilization are given a great place. One of his most significant works is The Time Regulation Institute (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü). The novel has been widely acclaimed as an ironic criticism of the bureaucratization process with the implication that its title suggests, though that is not what the book is all about. In fact, the book can be read from quite different perspectives, and cannot be exhausted in only one reading. First of all, it is a great psychological analysis of a man who suffers from being unable to adapt himself to his time, in other words to modern times. So the fact of bureaucratization is indeed incorporated into a broader problem: modernization and its impact on the individual. Most of the characters of the novel seem to be struggling in strange ways in order to survive in modern times. In this way, the concept of "time" occupies a central place, giving a deeper sense, even a philosophical taste to the novel.

Also in English[edit]

  • A Mind at Peace, trans. by Erdag Göknar, Archipelago Books (2008) ISBN 0-9793330-5-9 (a story of the people of Istanbul, set at the beginning of World War II)
  • The Time Regulation Institute,trans. by Alexander Dawe and Maureen Freely (31 Dec 2013)

Bibliography in Turkish[edit]

  • Poem (Şiirler, 1961)
  • Story (Abdullah Efendinin Rüyaları, 1943; Yaz Yağmuru, 1955; Hikâyeler, 1983, Dergâh Yay. 2002)
  • Novel ([A Mind at Peace']', English translation of Huzur, 1949; Dergâh Yay. 2004; Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü, 1962; Sahnenin Dışındakiler, 1973; Mahur Beste, 1975; Aydaki Kadın, 1987)
  • Essay (Beş Şehir, 1946; Yahya Kemal, 1967; Edebiyat Üzerine Makaleler, 1969; Yaşadığım Gibi, 1970)
  • Monography (XIX. Asır Türk Edebiyatı Tarihi, 1949)
  • Beş Şehir (Five Cities) Writings on the cities of Ankara, Erzurum, Konya, Bursa and Istanbul
  • The Time Regulation Institute (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü, 1962)

Bibliography in English[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gdd, Hüseyin Fikri Efendi". gdd.org.tr Mr. Murat Kasap. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  2. ^ M. Orhan Okay, Bir hülya adamının romanı: Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Dergâh Yayınları, 2010, ISBN 9789759951900, p. 26.

External links[edit]