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Namik Kemal

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Title: Namik Kemal  
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Subject: Ottoman Empire, Turkish literature, Abdülhak Hâmid Tarhan, Young Ottomans, Islam and modernity, Turkey
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Namik Kemal

Namık Kemal, born as Mehmed Kemal (December 21, 1840 - December 2, 1888) was an Ottoman poet, translator, journalist, and social reformer.


Kemal was born in Tekirdağ to an Albanian[1] mother Fatma Zehra and father Yenişehirli Mustafa Asım in the Ottoman Empire. He was influenced by the growing national sentiment of his day, and published a politically controversial newspaper. When the government cracked down on the newspaper he fled to Western Europe and worked there as a translator. When he returned, his most famous work, "Vatan Yahut Silistre", was staged at the Gedikpaşa Theatre in Constantinople on April 1, 1873. The play promoted nationalism and liberalism, and was considered dangerous by the Ottoman government. Immediately afterward, on April 9, 1873, he was sent into exile by the Ottoman Sultan and imprisoned in Cyprus. He was pardoned by Murat V on June 3, 1876, and returned to Constantinople[2][3] on June 29, 1876. He later became the governor of Sakız (now Chios, Greece), where he died in 1888. He was laid to rest in Bolayır, Çanakkale Province on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Some of his most famous works are "Rüya", "Zavallı Çocuk", "Kerbela", "Akif Bey", "Gülnihal", "İntibah" and "Emir Nevruz". Some were published with pseudonyms, and others were published anonymously.

Kemal's patriotic writings became a source of inspiration for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish nationalist movement and the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

He was married to Nesime Hanım; they had two daughters (Feride and Ulviye) and a son (Ali Ekrem)

See also

  • Namık Kemal University
  • Namık Kemal House Museum, Tekirdağ


  • Information from Turkey
  • Namik Kemal dungeon and museum
  • Encyclopædia Britannica article

External links

  • Encyclopædia Britannica Online -
  • Encyclopedia Of Nations -
  • Namık Kemal Home

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