Ozdemir Asaf

Born Halit Özdemir Arun on 11 June 1923 in Ankara, Özdemir Asaf attended Galatasaray High School and Kabataş Boys’ School. He began studying law at Istanbul University before moving to the Economics Department and then to the Institute of Journalism but left before graduating. He worked for a while in the tobacco industry and then worked as a translator for the newspapers Zaman and Tanin. His first work appeared in the journal Servetifünün-Uyanış (‘The Wealth of Sciences-The Awakening’) in 1939. His poems, essays and translations were published in a wide variety of journals, newspapers and magazines. An original and startling voice in Turkish poetry known for his explorations of love, separation, death, despair and the individual’s relations with wider society, he remains one of Turkey’s most beloved poets. He died on 28 January, 1980 in Istanbul.