Sevgi Soysal

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Sevgi Soysal
Born Sevgi Yenen[1]
(1936-09-30)September 30, 1936
Istanbul, Turkey
Died November 22, 1976(1976-11-22) (aged 40)
İstanbul, Turkey
Pen name Sevgi Nutku, Sevgi Sabuncu, Sevgi Soysal
Occupation Novelist
Language Turkish, German
Nationality Turkish
Alma mater Ankara University
University of Göttingen
Genre Novel, short story
Notable works Tante Rosa
Yenişehir'de Bir Öğle Vakti
Spouses Özdemir Nutku
Başar Sabuncu
Mümtaz Soysal

Sevgi Soysal, born Sevgi Yenen, (September 30, 1936 – November 22, 1976) was a Turkish female writer.[2]

Personal life

She was born in Istanbul on September 30, 1936 as the third child of six to Mithat Yenen, an architect-civil servant, and his wife Anneliese Rupp from Germany, who took later the Turkish name Aliye.[1] After completing the high school in Ankara, Soysal studied archaeology at Ankara University, but left without graduation. She obtained her degree in the late 1960s.[3][4][5]

In 1956, she married to poet and translator Özdemir Nutku. She followed her husband to Germany, where she attended one-year long lectures on archaeology and theatre at the University of Göttingen. There, she got pregnant and returned home. In 1958, she gave birth to a son named Korkut.[4][5]

Between 1960 and 1961, she worked at the Cultural Center of the German Embassy and Ankara Radio.[2] She acted in a solo role in the theatre play Zafer Madalyası (Turkish version of Bad Day at Black Rock) staged at Ankara Meydan Theatre and directed by Haldun Dormen. In 1965, she remarried to Başar Sabuncu, whom she met during her acting on stage.[4]

After the military coup on March 12, 1971, she was accused of belonging to a left-wing organization and put in prison. During her detention in Ankara's Mamak Prison, she met Mümtaz Soysal, a professor of Constitutional law, who was also detained for making propaganda of communism. They married in the prison. She gave birth to daughter Defna in December 1973 and to daughter Funda in March 1975. Sevgi Soysal was arrested again for political reasons. She spent eight months in prison, and two and half months in exile in Adana.[4][5]

Sevgi Soysal has got breast cancer, and lost one of her breasts in late 1975. She underwent another breast cancer surgery in September 1976, and went with her husband to London for medical treatment. Returned home, she died in Istanbul on November 22, 1976, at age forty.[4] She was laid to rest in the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery, Istanbul.[5]

Writing career

In 1962, she published a collection of short stories, Tutkulu Perçem ("Passionate Bangs"). In the same year, she began to work with the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT).[3] Her 1970 novel Yürümek ("Walking") received the "Turkish Radio and Television Corporation Achievement Award" but was banned for obscenity.[5][6]

She wrote under the pen names:

Selected works

Her notable works are:[2][3][5]

  • Tante Rosa, novel (1968)
  • Yürümek, novel (1970)
  • Yenişehir'de Bir Öğle Vakti (Noontime in Yenişehir), novel (1973), received the Orhan Kemal Award in 1974
  • Şafak (Dawn), novel (1975)
  • Yıldırım Bölge Kadınlar Koğuşu (Yıldırım Area Women's Ward), memoir (1976)
  • Barış Adlı Çocuk (A Child Named Peace), short stories (1976)
  • Hoşgeldin Ölüm (Welcome, Death!), unfinished novel


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Sevgi Soysal".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Soysal, Sevgi". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Sevgi Soysal". Words without Borders.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Sevgi Soysal" (in Turkish). İletişim. Retrieved 2015-03-20. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "Kısa hayatını telaşla ama dolu dolu yaşadı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2002-11-16. Retrieved 2015-03-21. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Dönmez, Rasim Ösgür; Özmen, Fazilet Ahu (2013). Gendered Identities: Criticizing Patriarchy in Turkey. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0739175637.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>