Sabahattin Ali’s books go public after copyright expires

Sabahattin Ali’s books go public after copyright expires

Sabahattin Ali’s books go public after copyright expires

The works of Sabahattin Ali, one of modern Turkish literature’s most prominent writers, will go public as a 70-year copyright on his books lapsed this year. 

Ali’s books will be published by any publishing house from now on, since a copyright on his books expired 70 years after his death. Many publishing houses have already been publishing the literary giant’s books. 

Born in 1907, Ali, a critic of the government at the time, was murdered in 1948. 

According to an article by Çağla Üren on the website, various publishing houses will be able to publish Ali’s books, which have been published only by Yapı Kredi Publishing House until today. 

According to copyright law, writers’ books can enter the public domain only 70 years after their death. 

Most publishing houses have been preparing to print Ali’s books with new covers and designs. Doğan Kitap has prepared Ali’s works “Kürk Mantolu Madonna” (The Fur-Coated Madonna), “İçimizdeki Şeytan” (The Evil inside Us), “Sırça Köşk” (Glass House) and “Kuyucaklı Yusuf” and started receiving orders over the internet already. 

Ali graduated from the School of Education in Istanbul in 1926. While serving as a German language teacher in Konya, he was arrested for a poem criticizing modern Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s policies and was accused of defaming two journalists. After serving his sentence for several months in the Central Anatolian province of Konya and later at the Sinop Fortress Prison, he was released in 1933 in an amnesty marking the 10th anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic. 

Upon his release from prison, he suffered financial troubles and his application for a passport was denied. He was killed at the Bulgarian border, around April 1 or 2, 1948, and his body was found on June 16, 1948. 

It is believed that he was killed by Ali Ertekin, a smuggler with connections to the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) who had been paid to help him pass the border. Another possibility is that Ertekin handed Ali over to MİT for interrogations during which Ali was killed. 

But what is certain is that Ali was killed for his political opinions, unleashing a string of many other assassinations against Turkish intellectuals throughout the century over similar reasons.