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Gülten Akın
(Turkey, 1933–2015)   
Gülten Akın

Gülten Akın, one of the first prominent women poets in modern Turkish literature, speaks in a lyrical and voluble tone, which is deeply critical and political without turning into propoganda. Her poetry manages to establish a balance between intimate self-reflection and provocative dialogue.In her work, Akin addresses themes within a traditional, patriarchal society from a woman's point of view. Her socially responsible intellectual position led her to formulate a communicative language to deal with issues of economic and gender inequality.

After studying law, Akin first worked as a solicitor and a teacher, then became a literary critic and essayist, whilst at the same time leading the human rights organisation that she herself founded.

Akin, who started to publish poetry in 1951, lived in several provinces in Turkey, working as a lawyer, an assistant lawyer and a teacher as her husband's position as provincial governor meant that they were constantly moving around the country.

The poet and her family settled in Ankara, where she worked at the Turkish Language Association, the regulatory body of the Turkish language, and became a member of the Editorial Team at the Ministry of Culture before the 1980 military coup. She also helped to establish many democratic non-governmental organizations.

As well as numerous other prizes, Gülten Akin won the 1961 and 1971 Turkish Language Association Award for Poetry and in 1992 the Sedat Simavi Literature Award.

© Efe Duyan


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