Taking Accounts of All Contradictions

Taking Accounts of All Contradictions

Tarık Buğra may be compared with Kemal Tahir in terms of investigating, questioning and telling all aspects of the topics he treated.

The concern of the two novelists is to find genuine answers to the questions they ask. Although they both reveal their sides, they always give the other party the right to speak.

Tarık Buğra’s master piece is Küçük Ağa (İletişim Publications, 31. print, 2017). The War of Independence is in the center of his thought world. Before and after the War of Independence… When we do not think the War of Independence with its before and after, it is not possible to understand the history of the Republic of Turkey. Because the War of Independence is perhaps the biggest breaking point in Turkish history. At this point, it is wrong to see Tarık Buğra as a simple political or historical novelist. He is also a thinker like our other novelist Kemal Tahir.

Tarık Buğra sets out from the two basic contradictions, two different divisions, and polarization in Küçük Ağa. For Turkish history, they are vital contradictions. The events take place during the War of Independence at a time when there are no luxuries such as staying neutral. The sides of the first contradiction; Nationalist Forces (Kuvâ-yı Milliye) – Sultan and the government in İstanbul. Tarık Buğra examines the subject very well. Both sides are opened for discussion. He tells the heroes of both sides from beginning to end. He investigates what they act by and by whom. From these points of view, Küçük Ağa is a reference guide for everyone who explores, investigates and questions the War of Independence, enabling them to think about events through different perspectives.

The vitality of the contradiction is hidden in the claim that both sides work for the salvation of the homeland. But both sides are the sons of the homeland. One is not more alien or patriotic than the other. Tariq Buğra airs the grievances. One side is not completely a traitor, and the other side is not entirely heroic. It shows that the definition of betrayal has different meanings for both sides. Our novelist focuses on historical facts. What we mean by historical facts: investigating the stages of the events that have reached this point; analyzing the economic, political and spiritual states of the society; questioning on what kind of motives the events and actions are based. When he does so, the stages that Kuvvacı Çolak Salih, a member of the National Forces, passes are better understood. Readers find Hoca of İstanbul, a follower of Sultan, right sometimes and feel sad for him, while at the same time they cannot help but beat themselves up as the other characters do in the book, saying “Please do not do this Hoca.”

The second contradiction is between the nativist and the westerner sides in the National Assembly. The end of the War of Independence was getting closer. How will people who have acted united during the war continue their paths after the war? The answer is long. It requires separate thinking, rewriting the War of Independence with different characters. That is why Tarık Buğra writes Firavun’un İmanı (Pharaoh’s Faith). There, he investigates the causes and consequences of the new polarization.

Library of the Author

– Ömer Bedrettin Uşaklı, Yayla Dumanı, Dergâh Publications

– Füruzan, Gecenin Öteki Yüzü, Yapı Kredi Publications

– Pierre Macherey, A Theory of Literary Production, İletişim Publications

– Sâdî-i Şirâzî, Gülistan, Ayrıntı Publications