Adnan Benk and Turkish Literature Criticism

The first samples of the historical novel in Turkish literature were produced after the Turkish Renaissance as exemplified by Namık Kemal's Cezmi (1883) and some of the novels of Ahmet Midhat Efendi. The scientific dissertations on the ‘historical novels', on the other hand, appeared much later than the publication of Cezmi. The first dissertation on the historical novels in Turkish Literature was conducted by Hülya Argunşah in 1990. This was followed by the work of Zeki Taştan, who analyzed these novels with respect to time, setting, characterization, and point of view in addition to providing the summary of eighty-one historical novels published between 1871 and 1950. Since then, an approximate number of twenty-five MA theses have been conducted. While some of these works are specific studies focusing on the writers of the historical novels, some others are separate ones related to the field. However, when the existence of many historical novelists and hundreds of historical novels is taken into consideration, the distance taken in the field appears insufficient.


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