Yaşar Kemal Symposium

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and Yaşar Kemal Foundation organized a symposium titled “In the Garden of a Thousand Flowers with Yaşar Kemal" on December 2-3, 2022. The symposium, which discussed the narrative world of the writer Yaşar Kemal based on the themes of “nature” and “humanity,” took place at the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center (AASSM). Friends of Yaşar Kemal, as well as academics, journalists, artists, and writers, participated as speakers to the symposium, where Yaşar Kemal's literature was evaluated through thematic sessions.

In his opening speech at the two-day symposium, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer expressed his thoughts by saying, “Yaşar Kemal, like a river coming from the peaks of Anatolian civilization, carried the cultural accumulation of this geography on his shoulders. He became the voice of Anatolia. He masterfully told us about the harmony between ourselves, our nature, our past, and our future in its simplest form. The unique views of the diversity, plurality and multivocality in these lands came to life in his works.” Yaşar Kemal's wife and the President of the Yaşar Kemal Foundation, Ayşe Semiha Baban Gökçeli, described the symposium as “a call that reminds us of the need for new perspectives on harmony with nature, which is the most pressing issue in our world today, while sharing Yaşar Kemal’s views on nature.”

The opening session of the symposium featured actress and director Türkan Şoray, poet and writer Ataol Behramoğlu, composer Michael Ellison and publisher Lucien Leitess. The exhibition consisting of photographs of the writer was presented for the first time as part of the symposium. The sessions ended with Anatolian songs performed by Kardeş Türküler.