Sadık Yemni

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Sadık Yemni (born Istanbul, 1951) is a Dutch novelist of Turkish extraction. He is known particularly for such "multi-cultural whodunits" as De roos van Amsterdam ("The rose of Amsterdam").

Yemni is one of the most popular fantasy and science fiction authors of Turkey. He was born in Istanbul and has resided in Amsterdam since 1975. His writing combines myriad genres and styles like detective, fiction, drama, paranormal, horror, science fiction, metaphysics, and humor. He is the author of twenty two novels published in the Turkish language, as well as a variety of short stories, essays, plays, and film scripts. With his rich imagination, Sadık creates the most exciting and mysterious worlds in his novels, therefore earning him the nickname “Lord of the Turkish fiction”.


Yemni was born in Istanbul, Turkey, but moved with his parents to Izmir when he was still a baby. He started school and was particularly successful in chemistry during his teen years, at which time he expressed keen interest in chemistry, entertaining himself and innocent bystanders with pranks arranged from his "home lab," using rockets and rocks that burn underwater, and napkins that just catch fire for no apparent reason. He even filled in for his chemistry teacher in class when he was out a few days. Then came those sad days of political unrest and the resulting coup d'état in Turkey, from 1972-75. In 1975, as a junior in the Chemistry Dept. at Ege University, he went on a tour to Amsterdam to visit relatives and ended up living there ever since. In Amsterdam, he apprenticed for his uncle in his dressmaking shop, which also served as a meeting place for immigrant Turks of all kinds. The day started with the restaurant owners dropping by for a cup of tea. As the day progressed, they served tea to all sorts of people: bullies wanted for murder, gigolos, the chronically-unemployed looking to waste an hour or two, runaways looking for work, thugs hawking stolen goods, and so on—coloring their days with their stories. At the end of the 1970s and the hippy era, Yemni got interested in amateur sports and coaching and was a jury member at sporting events. On the side, he sold gyros, carried furniture, and did janitorial work until he finally settled for a proper job as a gatekeeper for the railroad. During the quiet hours as a gatekeeper, he had time to reflect on his life, read, and think. He decided to get away from Amsterdam and moved Sydney, Australia. After many adventures and misadventures, he returned to Amsterdam.

In 1984, he became enchanted with the carnival in Rio de Janeiro and thought he might stay on there. It almost worked, but instead he found himself heading back to Amsterdam. In 1985, he became a father for the first time and shortly thereafter, his first book was published. He began his literary career with a series of books on the social situation of immigrants in Amsterdam. The Iron Beak, Soul of the Bridge, Visible and Invisible Turks, Deliberate Ignorance, and Knights of Amsterdam were his first works. Immmigrant literature was not very popular in those days, but his interests seemed to lead him in another direction anyway, and he began to focus on the possibilities of the mysterious, dark and mystic supernatural, with a dab of science fiction. His book The Amulet was much acclaimed in Turkey. The Rose of Amsterdam and The Other Place followed shortly in the same genre.

From 1996-97, he wrote the scenario for a television series called "Mystery Files," which was aired in Turkey. In 2002, he continued his adventure into fantasy and science fiction literature with a thriller called, Metros. In 2003, he wrote a mystery set on a Pera Island called The Dissolver. A fantasy called 1002 Night-time Stories was followed in 2004 by The Waiting Room. In 2005-06 he wrote a book based on the political unrest in the Netherlands called The Conversation House, and was then ready to go back to the supernatural/sci-fi genres.


Published in Dutch:

  • De IJzeren Snavel (volume of short stories)
  • De Geest van de Brug (diary)
  • Het Station - Toneeltekst
  • De roos van Amsterdam (1993, vertaling uit het Turks Amsterdam'ın Gülü, 1993)
  • De ridders van Amsterdam (1994)
  • Detective Orhan en het vermiste meisje (1996, jeugdboek)
  • De vierde ster (2000, vert. uit het Turks door Margreet Dorleijn)
  • De amulet, Prometheus, 1995 (vert. uit het Turks (Muska) door Cees Priem, 1995)
  • Paradigma - Toneel,

Published in Turkish:

  • Muska (1996)
  • Amsterdam'ın Gülü (1996)
  • Öte Yer (1997, 'De Gene Zijde')
  • Metros (2002)
  • Çözücü (2003, 'Oplosser' SF thriller )
  • Ölümsüz (2004)
  • Yatır (2005)
  • Muhabbet Evi (2006)
  • Durum 429 (2007)

Published in German:

  • Das Haus der Herzen (2010)