Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wg55d Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-20T11:25:50.822Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

From Allegory to Parable: Inscriptions of Anatolia in the Turkish Novel

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2015

Jale Parla*
İstanbul Bilgi University, İstanbul, Turkey,


The Turkish novel became a national chronotope proper with the founding of the Republic in 1923 and the emergent conception of the national geography following the War of Independence (1919-1922). This was the Anatolian territory, with Ankara as the new capital of the nation instead of İstanbul which had been the Ottoman Empire's center for almost five centuries. Anatolia became the motherland on which the national consciousness of the new nation would be inscribed. In the novels of the republican era, Anatolian iconography and mythography illustrate how this setting became a persistent element of narrative structure as a significant topos in both senses of the word: as place and theme. An inquiry into the permutations of the theme of Anatolia since the War of Independence will reveal the changing attitudes and ideas related to Turkish nationalism and its most outstanding component, the cult of the father personified by Atatürk. This essay, however, does not only aim at a survey of an ideology's history via literature; it also investigates the Anatolian iconography and mythography, as they figure in the Turkish novel of the republican era, and touches upon the various narrative strategies that major Turkish novelists have employed in their search for the right form for this important content, the right form to either reinforce or undermine a sacred story.

Copyright © New Perspectives on Turkey 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Adıvar, Halide Edip. Ateşten Gömlek, İstanbul: Atlas, 1987.Google Scholar
Adıvar, Halide Edip. Yeni Turan. İstanbul: Atlas, 1991.Google Scholar
Atay, Oğuz. Tehlikeli Oyunlar, İstanbul: İletişim, 1987.Google Scholar
Atılgan, Yusuf. Anayurt Oteli, İstanbul: İletişim, 1987.Google Scholar
Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Translated by Jolas, Maria. Boston: Beacon, 1969.Google Scholar
Bachelard, Gaston. The Psychoanalysis of Fire. Translated by Ross, Alan C. M.. Boston: Beacon, 1964.Google Scholar
Hikmet, Nazım, İnsan Manzaraları, İstanbul: Cem, 1987.Google Scholar
Jameson, Fredric. “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism.” Social Text, no. 15 (1986): 6588.Google Scholar
Karaosmanoğlu, Yakup Kadri. Ankara, İstanbul: İletişim, 1961.Google Scholar
Karaosmanoğlu, Yakup Kadri. Panaroma. İstanbul: İletişim, 1967.Google Scholar
Moran, Berna. Türk Romanına Eleştirel Bir Bakış 1: Ahmet Mithat'tan Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar'a. İstanbul: İletişim, 1987.Google Scholar
Moretti, Franco. Atlas of the European Novel: 1800-1900. London: Verso, 1998.Google Scholar
Pamuk, Orhan. Kar. İstanbul: İletişim, 2002.Google Scholar
Pamuk, Orhan. The New Life. Translated by Gün, Güneli. New York: Vintage, 1998.Google Scholar
Parla, Taha. The Social and Political Thought of Ziya Gókalp, 1876-1924. Leiden: Brill, 1985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parla, Taha. Türkiye'de Siyasal Kültürün Resmi Kaynakları: Atatürk'ün Nutuk'u. İstanbul: İletişim, 1991.Google Scholar