3 Kasım 2010 Çarşamba


Growing up in the 1980s Turkey wasn’t very much about bad haircuts or shoulder pads. After the army’s intervention to democracy (the third time) the atmosphere in Turkey was rather dark. We were going to school, secretly reading some of the banned books, listening some of the banned music and we thought freedom had to be something like that. We wanted the freedom but we didn’t understand the definition of it so well. It took me quite a long time to understand through art what freedom really was. During that time, while everything was repressed and everybody was in a rather dark mood, there was something going on in Turkey that was rather interesting and hilarious – our sense of humour in the form of cartoons published in weekly comic magazines. After a long tradition of writers and comics like Nasrettin Hoca and Aziz Nesin, a young generation of Turkish cartoonist re-invented the power of humor and how humor could be use to open up some areas in society to allow them to breathe and fight back. These young cartoonists captured very well what was going on in contemporary society, more than any other art form. They thought us to laugh at the situation and not cry and it was a different angle for life all together. It gave a lot of hope to my generation and we learned a lot from them. Maybe that is why humor became one of the trademarks of contemporary Turkish art today and why it is also so important in my work. Cinema, poetry and literature have always been very strong in Turkey. However, contemporary art was very weak, the art schools were terrible and there was almost no place to exhibit. There were no art institutions or museums. There were very few artists making interesting work. The only serious institute was the Istanbul Biennale and even they weren’t as strong or as popular as they are today. Therefore, when I decided to study art, I thought I should leave Turkey and find a place where I was able to study and practice art with much less limitation. I moved to Holland.

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