Books Suggestions for Those Who Love Turkish Literature

With novels and stories, Turkish literature contains numerous classics. With worldwide readers, Turkish literature attracts a great deal of attention with its classics and contemporary authors.

Here we list some of the novels from Turkish literature, which are famous in Turkey and around the world. Enjoy reading!



Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitusu

Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitusu is written by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, one of the masters of modernism. With irony forming the backbone, this novel by the great master criticizes the unsystematic adaptation of Turkey to Western modernization. The novel tells about the events occurring at the Time Regulation Institute, founded by watch-lovers Hayri Irdal and Halit Ayarci. This novel is about the extraordinary and ironic lives of the protagonists.


Ince Memed

Yasar Kemal is one of the leading Turkish authors. He wrote his famous novel Ince Memed in thirty eight years. The book is about the story of a young rural boy named Memed, who endures the persecution by the local landowner. When his lover is imprisoned while they try to escape, Memed joins a gang of bandits to seek his revenge. The book tells about the human relations of Memed, who opposes the system. With the nature and colors, Ince Memed is a story of Cukurova.



With a friendship dating back to high-school, Orhan Veli Kanik, Oktay Rifat and Melih Cevdet started a novel, radical movement in Turkish poetry, which was different from the Turkish-Ottoman tradition, and published a book called “Garip” in 1941. The first part of the book consists of Garip Mukaddime, which is followed by the poems penned by these three friends. Including a long foreword and the poems penned by three young people, the book starts with the simplest description of poetry: “Poetry, i.e. the art of speaking.”



Penned by Adalet Agaoglu, one of the leading novelists of our time, Yazsonu sets in the unique Mediterranean geography and is about the lives, which are dreamed of but are likely to remain only as a dream. The protagonist asks the following: "Why would one throw his fishing rod into a lake even though he knows not a single fish exists in that lake and sit waiting for hours on the lakeside?"  Yazsonu, one of the most famous books of Adalet Agaoglu, tells about those who arrive at the Mediterranean after an escape and come to terms with their past, which they think they've left behind but stick with them.



Tutunamayanlar is the first novel of Oguz Atay, and the first edition of the book was published in two volumes in 1971. This book, regarded as one of the most important modern Turkish literature works, includes not a specific event but impressions, association, irony and details. The plot of the novel can be summarized as follows: Engineer Turgut Ozben learns from the newspaper that his close friend Selim Isik shot himself to death. He cannot get over it and starts to investigate the reasons for this suicide.


Benim Adim Kirmizi

Benim Adim Kirmizi, a novel by the famous author Orhan Pamuk, was published in 1998 and has been translated into more than 60 languages so far. Receiving the Impac Dublin Literary Award for Best Novel, Benim Adim Kirmizi is an outstanding novel especially for its unusual narrators and fantastic elements. In this novel, Orhan Pamuk tells the story with more than one narrator, who are mostly inanimate or intangible. The novel is around the miniaturists and painters, who are the creators of Turkish arts, and includes several philosophical discussions on the purpose of art and the differences between Islamic states and Western Europe.


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  • Stephanie R. McDaniel
  • 20-04-2022

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