Philosopher, poet and writer (b. 26 May 1905, İstanbul – d. 25 May 1983). In his autobiography O ve Ben (Him and Me) his birth date is given as 26 May 1320-1904/Rebiülevvel (the third month according to the Arabic calendar) 1323. The equivalent of these fiscal and Muslim calendar dates is 1905. Necip Fazıl coming from a family in Maraş spent his childhood in Çemberelitaş, İstanbul at the mansion of his grandfather who was a retired law chief.
He completed primary and secondary schools at the American and French Colleges and at the Naval High School. He first began to take an interest in literature and culture at this school. Yahya Kemal, Ahmet Hamdi (Akseki), İbrahim Aşki Efendi and Hamdullah Suphi were among the prominent people of the time who were his teachers at high school. He left İstanbul University, Department of Philosophy without completing (1924) then attended Sorbonne University, Department of Philosophy in France to where he was sent (1924-25). He returned to Turkey after his bohemian days in Paris and worked as a supervisor and account director at the Holland, Ottoman and İş Banks 1928-39). He worked as a lecturer at a French school, Robert College, the İstanbul Fine Arts Academy, the Ankara State Conservatoire and Ankara University, Faculty of Language, History and Geography (1939-43). He concentrated on intellectual and artistic activities in the following years. He passed away at his house in Erenköy. He is buried in Eyüp Graveyard.
He started writing poems at his mother’s request when he was 12. His first published poem, Kitabe (Epitaph), which later would be included in the book Örümcek Ağı (The Cobweb) with the title Bir Mezar Taşı (A Tomb Stone) appeared in the review Yeni Mecmua in 1923. The poetry books, Örümcek Ağı (The Cobweb, 1925) and Kaldırımlar (Pavements, 1928), which he published after returning to Paris stimulated excitement and brought admiration from the literary world. From a young age, after his poems were published and reviewed in the journals Millî Mecmua and Yeni Hayat, he was considered a leading writer amongst contemporary poets. He was admired for his poetry book, Ben ve Ötesi, (Me and Beyond), which he published when he was under 30, as much as he was with the ones he had published before.
In his poems he used syllabic meter very successfully.
The year 1934 was really the start of a new period in the life of Necip Fazıl who still continued philosophical research and felt the start of a new period intensely when he was at the height of his fame. During the days he was leading an intense bohemian lifestyle, Necip Fazıl met Nakshbendi Şeyh Abdulhakim Arvasi who was preaching a sermon at Beyoğlu Ağa Mosque and from then on couldn’t break the tie with him. Necip Fazıl produced theatrical works that carried an outstanding ethical philosophy to Turkish literature during this period.
His plays such as Tohum (Seed), Para (Money), Bir Adam Yaratmak (To Create a Man), sold out for weeks and attracted great attention. Among these works, “To Create a Man” is one of the most powerful plays of Turkish theatre. The characteristics of Necip Fazıl which were as important as his being poet and playwright were his success in enriching Turkish intellectual life and the effort he gave to his works published in the following reviews:
He published the first 6 issues of the weekly review, Ağaç (1936, issue 17) in Ankara and continued in İstanbul, in which famous writers of the period featured. The review Büyük Doğu, (weekly: 1943-50, 1954, 1959-67, 1971-78, daily: 1951-52, monthly: 1969), the first issue of which he published on 17 December 1943 was published periodically until 14 June 1978. In the lawsuits brought against him for his severe and unstinting opposition to İsmet Paşa and the Republican People’s Party, imprisonment for a hundred years was demanded. He was imprisoned for a few years under article 163 of the constitution (like the event of Ahmet Emin Yalman). His prison memoirs are included in his work titled Cinnet Mustatili (Triangle of Madness), it was also published with the title Yılanlı Kuyudan (From the Well with Snakes)
He published his daily columns and various articles in the newspapers, Yeni İstanbul, Son Posta, Babıalide Sabah, Bugün, Millî Gazete, Hergün and Tercüman during the period when the review, Büyük Doğu, which was often closed on the decision of the Council of Ministers and confiscated for various reasons, was not published. In his articles published in Büyük Doğu, he used the pen names Adıdeğmez, Mürid and Ahmet Abdülbaki as well as his own name. Besides these, he used the pen names Neslihan Kısakürek, Prof. Ş. Ü, Tanrı Kulu, Dedektif x, Bir and Ozan. He attracted great attention with the conferences he held in various Anatolian cities from 1962. His great service to Turkish culture with his philosophical works especially with Ideolocya Örgüsü (Ideological Fiction, 1959) is his superior attribute. Necip Fazıl, whose 50th year in Art was celebrated with a ceremony held at the National Turkish Students Association in 1980, collected the Great Award of the Ministry of Culture in 1980, the National Foundation of Culture Award (1981) and the Writers Union of Turkey Superior Service Award (1982) with his work titled İman ve İslam Atlası (Atlas of Faith and Islam). He was dignified with the name “Sultanü’ş – Şuara” (Sultan of the Poets) by the title of privilege given by the Foundation of Turkish Literature in 1980. 2005, the 100th anniversary of Necip Fazıl’s birth, was declared “The Year of Necip Fazıl” by the Ministry of Culture.
POETRY: Örümcek Ağı (The Cobweb, 1925), Kaldırımlar (Pavements, 1928), Ben ve Ötesi (Me and Beyond, 1932), Çile (Suffering, 1962), Şiirlerim (My Poems, 1969), Esselam (Greetings, 1973).
PLAY: Tohum (Seed, 1935), Bir Adam Yaratmak (To Create a Man, 1938, filmed by Yücel Çakmaklı and screened, 1978). Künye (Identification Tag, 1940), Sabırtaşı (The Epitome of Patience, 1940), Para (Money, 1942), Nam-ı Diğer Parmaksız Salih (Well-known Fingerless Salih, 1949, adapted for the cinema, 1950), Reis Bey (Reis Bey, 1964, adapted for the cinema by Mesut Uçakan and shown during İstanbul Cinema Festival, 1989), Ahşap Konak (Wooden Mansion, 1964), Siyah Pelerinli Adam (The Man with the Black Cape, 1964), Ulu Hakan Abdülhamid Han (The Great Emperor Abdülhamid Khan, 1965), Yunus Emre (Yunus Emre 1969), Kanlı Sarık (Bloody Sarık*, 1970), Mukaddes Emanet (The Holy Trust, 1971), İbrahim Edhem (İbrahim Edhem 1978), Bütün Eserleri (All His Works, three volumes, all his plays except for İbrahim Edhem, Ministry of Culture Publications, 1976). His play, Kumandan ve Sır (The Commander and the Secret) was serialized in the review Büyük Doğu but it was not completed.
SHORT STORY: Birkaç Hikâye Birkaç Tahlil (Several Short Stories and Several Analyses, 1933), Ruh Burkuntularından Hikâyeler (Short Stories from Sad Souls, 1965), Hikâyelerim (My Stories, 1973).
NOVEL: Aynadaki Yalan (The Lie in the Mirror, 1970), Kafa Kağıdı (Identity Card, 1983).
SCENARIO: Vatan Şairi Namık Kemal (The Motherland Poet Namık Kemal, 1944), Senaryo Romanları (Screenplay Novels, six scripts, 1972, some of them were adapted for the cinema with different names), Battal Gazi (Clumsy Veteran, serialized in Büyük Doğu), Yangın Var (Fire!, filmed and the screenplay was published).
MONOGRAPH: Eseri ve Tesiriyle Namık Kemal (Namık Kemal, His Work and Its Impact, 1940), Ulu Hakan Abdulhamid Han (The Great Emperor Abdulhamid Han, 1965), Vatan Haini Değil Büyük Vatan dostu Vahidüddin (Vahidüddin, A Great Lover of the Motherland, Not a Traitor, 1968), Benim Gözümde Menderes (Menderes In My Opinion, 1970).
PHILOSOPHY-MEMOIR: Çerçeve (Frame, 1940), Maskenizi Yırtıyorum (I’m Ripping Your Mask, 1953), At’a Senfoni (Symphony to a Horse, 1958), Türkiye’nin Manzarası (State of Turkey, 1968), Binbir Çerçeve I – V (Thousands of Frames I-V, five books titled 101 Frames, 1968-69), Çepeçevre Anadolu ve Gençlik (All Around Anatolia and Youth, 1969), Çepeçevre Sosyalizm, Komünizm ve İnsanlık (All Around Socialism, Communism and Humanity, 1969), Son Devrin Din Mazlumları (Modest Religious People of The Last Age,1969), Yeniçeri (Janissary, 1970), Tarihimizde Moskof (Russians in Our History, 1973), Cumhuriyet’in 50. Yılında Türkiye’nin Manzarası (The Image of Turkey on the 50th Anniversary of the Republic, 1973), İhtilal (The Revolution, 1976), Rapor 1-13 (Report, 1976-80).
RELIGION – MYSTICISM: Halkadan Pırıltılar (Sparkles from the Ring, 1948), Çöle İnen Nur (The Holy Light Casting on the Desert, 1950), Altın Zincir (Golden Chain, 1959), Altun Halka (Golden Ring, 1960), O ki O Yüzden Varız (That is the Reason of Our Existence, 1961), İlim Beldesinin Kapısı Hz. Ali (Esteemed Ali, The Door to the City of Science, 1964), Hulefa-i Raşidin Menkıbelerine Ait Bir Pırıltı Binbir Işık (The Gleam of Thousands of Lights of the Hulefa-i Raşidin Legends, 1965), Peygamber Halkası (The Prophet Ring, 1968), Tanrı Kulundan Dinlediklerim (The Things I Heard from the Servant of God, 1968), Nur Harmanı (Harvest of Holy Light, 1970), Başbuğ Velilerden 33 (From the Principal Saints 33, 1974), Veliler Ordusunda 33 (Among the Saints 33, 1976), Doğru Yolun Sapık Kolları (Perverted Deviations of the True Way, 1978), İman ve İslam Atlası (Atlas of Faith and Islam, 1981), Batı Tefekkürü ve İslam Tasavvufu (Thoughts of the West and Islam Sufism, 1982).
SPEECH AND CONFERENCE: Abdülhak Hamid ve Dolayısıyla (Abdülhak Hamid and So, 1937), Müdafaa (Defense, 1946), Her Cephesiyle Komünizma (Communism in All Its Aspects, 1961), Türkiye’de Komünizma ve Köy Enstitüleri (Communism in Turkey and the Village Institutions, 1962), İman ve Aksiyon (Faith and Action, 1964), İki Hitabe (Two Speeches, Haghia Sophia – the Common Soldier, 1966), Müdafaalarım (My Defenses, 1969), Hitabe (The Speech, 26 speeches, 1975), Yolumuz, Halimiz, Çaremiz (Our Way, State and Remedy, 1977).
MEMOIR: Cinnet Mustatili (Rectangle of Madness, prison memoirs, 1955, with the title “From The Well with Snakes”, 1970), Büyük Kapı (Great Door, 1965 with the title He / She and Me, 1974), Hac (Pilgrimage, 1973), Babıâli (The Sublime Porte, 1975).
His translations and simplifications were also published. New editions of his works were published by Büyük Doğu Publishing House after his death.