Turkey’s literary dean Yaşar Kemal in critical condition after hospitalization
Yaşar Kemal was the first Turkish writer to be designated as a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature.One of modern Turkey’s most celebrated literary figures, Yaşar Kemal, has been hospitalized following respiratory problems, lung infection and heart arrhythmia Jan. 14.
Doctors said that the condition of the 92-year-old author was critical, adding that his symptoms suggested pneumonia.
“He has respiratory insufficiency, he is attached to a breathing machine. The indicators are good, but we don’t know how it will develop. We hope that he will recover after the treatment,” said Dr. Mehmet Akif Karan in a press statement.
Karan said Kemal was unconscious and his condition was still life-threatening. “Due to his advanced age and other chronic diseases, the treatment is linked to a series of other factors. This is why he needs very close monitoring,” he said.
Kemal, the first Turkish writer designated as a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature, has written dozens of books over the course of decades, and his epic novel “Memed, My Hawk” is considered one of the cornerstones of modern Turkish literature.
A monument to health and vigor, Yaşar Kemal has remained involved in a number of civic initiatives despite his advanced age. A journalist by profession, his collection of interviews with street children, “Children are Human,” is one of the most important social research pieces of Turkey’s recent history, with Kemal saying he “wouldn’t have loved it as much as I do even if I had written a great novel.”
Born into a Kurdish family in the southern province of Osmaniye, Kemal has also endeavored to improve the rights of the Kurdish minority in Turkey.