Culture In Depth, 17/11/2019

Literary Workshop Brings Ukraine and Turkey Together in Kharkiv

On November 7, “Turkish Poetry of the 20th Century Translated by Radiy Fis” literary workshop took place at Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University.

Victor Valentienko, the president of Hubernia club NGO, Ferit M. Aliev, a representative of the Turkish community in Kharkiv, head of the regional branch of the Association of Turkish-Ukrainian businessmen and Ali Aliev, the president of World Confederation of Persian-Arab-Turkish-speaking and Caucasian people NGO warmly welcomed all comers. The audience consisted mainly of students and teachers of the foreign languages faculty.

The event started with Orhan Veli Kanık’s biography followed with his best-known poetry. The born in 1914 poet is one of the founders of the Garip Movement which aimed to fundamentally transform traditional form in Turkish poetry. He introduced colloquialisms into the poetic language.

The participants found out that Orhan Veli translated works of Russian classics into Turkish, in particular, Mykola Gogol, a famous Ukrainian writer known to many as Russian classics, who used Ukrainian mythological folk themes in his works. For all its originality, Turkish very closely resembles Ukrainian by its euphony.

The reading was accompanied by the demonstration of video and audio materials prepared and skillfully presented by the head of the Turkish Cultural Center at the pedagogical university, Iryna Skrazlovska.

Thanks to her that the audience not only heard the recording of one of the poet’s most famous “I’m Listening to Istanbul” poems in Turkish, but also saw it on the screen in a series of memorable images. This plunged the audience into Turkish poetry even more, made it possible to feel its taste and aroma. Following the composition, the audience was able to listen to poems written by both Orhan Veli and his friends from “Saç ayak” (English: “Tripod”) poetic community. Moreover, some of them sounded excellent not only in Radiy Fis’ translations but also in Turkish which were performed live by the teacher of the Faculty of Oriental Languages of pedagogical university Sertan Alibekiroglu and the student of Turkish department Igaj Mamedova.

At the literary evening, many words of thanks were expressed to Radiy Fis, the poet-translator of all the poems that were read during the event. After all, it was he who brought us closer to the neighboring nation, put us into the polyphonic and sonorous world of the East, and allowed us to feel in it what is now called the biofield.

Turkish poetry touched everyone causing applause again and again during the event. After it was finished, the guests confirmed to the organizers that they were looking forward to the next event.

After the workshop, the participants visited the Turkish Cultural Center, watched the “Retro-Turkey. The First Years of the Republic of Turkey” exhibition of black and white photographs. According to the Eastern tradition, guests were hospitably treated with tea and sweets. Turkish student Hanim Mamedova performed a Turkish song.

The event’s script was prepared by Kharkiv poet Yuri Ivanov and was based on two books of modern Turkish poetry: “For You” and “Once Surely,” the prefaces to which were written by poets Radiy Fis and Yevgeny Vinokurov. According to these books, the literary composition was prepared and read by the artists of the Kharkiv Regional Philharmonic Natalia Sydorenko and Roman Bayraktar.

Yuri Ivanov and Natalia Sidorenko have been creating numerous literary programs dedicated to both Ukrainian and overseas poets for many years. During the last two years, these programs were presented at Radio Slobozhanshchina with the support of its director Lyudmila Boytsevska.

Recently, Yuri Ivanov together with his colleagues have embraced the idea of creating programs introducing the listeners to the poetry of neighboring countries.

The first radio program from this cycle was devoted to Turkish poetry. Works of the prominent 20th-century Turkish poet Orkhan Veli and his two friends, Melih Cevdet Anday and Oktay Rifat, founders of Tripod poetic community, were played live on the air.

Yuri Ivanov shared his thoughts on the creation of a new radio programs’ cycle with the Hubernia club president. Victor Valentienko supported them and embraced the idea to hold literary workshops devoted to the work of outstanding poets of neighboring countries.

The event took place with the support of the pedagogical university administration, Dean’s office of the Faculty of Foreign Languages, the Faculty of Oriental Languages and the Turkish Cultural Center at the pedagogical university.

The pedagogical university has been contributing to friendly cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey for many years. There is the only faculty in our city where students can learn Turkish. Teachers from both Ukraine and Turkey work closely together there.

Organizers hope that such joint poetic meetings inspire hope and that the two flags of Ukraine and Turkey, which were standing next to each other on the table during the event, will stay close in future symbolizing friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation between the two nations.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: Hubernia club