Knowing Can Dündar through his books

Knowing Can Dündar through his books

The solidarity among colleagues on difficult days has always moved me. Even if some colleagues have opposing opinions, in these tough days these differences should be forgotten. 

On the evening of the Kelebek Awards, the artists who took the stage all referred to Can Dündar, the imprisoned journalist, and honored him. 

Daily Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin wished for Dündar and Erdem Gül to be rescued from behind bars and freed as soon as possible.  

He conveyed our most shared wish to the guests in the hall. He emphasized that we should not forget them on this night of awards.  

Ergin was not only supporting them verbally, he was also walking on the front line on the march for their release.

I am also yearning for them to be freed and back in their jobs. 

I would, indeed, want you to know Dündar also through his books; he has his signature on unforgettable documentaries and research. 

Current affairs and cases come and go, but books stay. While passing judgement on a person, one needs to take notice of his books.

When you read his books, you can draw a portrait from them of a writer who truly believes in the republic. You will reach the opinion that such a believer in the republic would not adopt a stance against it. The documentaries of those who founded the republic, who made it survive, enable us to get to know Turkey better. 

I can cite the example of the documentary on İnönü. 

The most effective of the genres where an individual can be portrayed the best visually and most directly are documentaries. 

It was through Dündar’s documentary that many people got to know in detail Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet, as much as they would learn from his books, maybe even beyond his books. 

Dündar also made documentaries about almost all of the significant names in various fields of the republic; the one about chemist and industrialist Nejat F. Ezcacıbaşı also bears Dündar’s signature. If you are to reach a judgement about a person, you should learn his whole life and the line of that life. 

For this reason, I am recapturing Dündar’s books and articles for you. 

You would not approve of his unfair treatment because of one story. 

I would particularly recall Dündar’s book on İsmail Cem because of how well he presented my dear friend. 
Each book has a story. Look how this book emerged, in Dündar’s words: 

“The adventure of this book started with a suggestion from Sedat Ergin. He wanted me to make a long interview for daily Milliyet with İsmail Cem, who was not seen in the political arena for a long time.” When Ergin suggested that in 2006, he was the editor-in-chief of daily Milliyet. 

The interview was made and it turned into a book. 

His books on Vehbi Koç are also witnesses to a significant industrialist, and to that era. I should also cite “My brother Deniz,” prepared with documents and photos provided by Deniz Gezmiş’s younger brother Hamdi Deniz. 

His book “Yıldızlar” (Stars) is one of my favorite books by him. He depicts the pop culture icons of the 2000s and through them, society’s taste scale. 

Two of his documentary books, “Yükselen bir Deniz” and “Gölgedekiler,” are valuable sources for those who want to understand and learn our recent history. 

From the same series, “O Gün” (That Day) makes us remember and never forget those certain incidents and days that built today’s Turkey.   

The full stories of the raid at Tan Publishing House, the hell at Sivas, the Aug. 19, 1999, earthquake and other days…

Only after reading these books can one evaluate today’s situation accordingly.