ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



He influenced the people around him with his poems and articles, which he

published with the pen names Celal Sakıp, Demirtaş Gökâlp in the review

Genç Kalemler, printed by Ömer Seyfettin and Ali Canip Yöntem (1911)

in Thessalonica.When the parliament to which he had been elected parliamentary

deputy of Ergani in 1912 was closed after four months, he came to İstanbul

and gave lessons as a professor of sociology in İstanbul University (1915-1919).



Legislator Poets


Translated from the Turkish by Mevlut Ceylan  


ZİYA GÖKÂLP — Philosopher and writer  (b. 23 March 1879, Diyarbakır – d. 25 October 1924, İstanbul).  His original name was Mehmet Ziya. He attended primary school and elementary military school in Diyarbakır and graduated from the School of Politics (1883-94). He took private lessons in Persian and Arabic from his uncle and French from his school headmaster.

He entered Veterinary School which was a boarding school located in İstanbul where he had come to complete his education. His active membership in a secret society which was against the Abdulhamit administration led to his imprisonment for nine months when he was in his last year of study and he was exiled to his home city.

Continuing his relations with secret societies in Diyarbakır, he founded the Diyarbakır branch of the Committee of Union and Progress Party after the Second Constitutional Monarchy. He wrote about his ideas in the newspaper Peyman (1909), which he published in Diyarbakır. He participated in the general congress of the Committee that was held in Thessalonica 1910 as a delegate of Diyarbakır and was selected to the membership of the head office. He influenced the people around him with his poems and articles, which he published with the pen names Celal Sakıp, Demirtaş Gökâlp in the review Genç Kalemler, printed by Ömer Seyfettin and Ali Canip Yöntem (1911) in Thessalonica.

When the parliament to which he had been elected parliamentary deputy of Ergani in 1912 was closed after four months, he came to İstanbul and gave lessons as a professor of sociology in İstanbul University (1915-1919). At the same time he published his works on various subjects in reviews and newspapers such as Türk Yurdu, Halka Doğru, Türk Sözü, İslâm, İktisat, Millî Tetebbular, and Yeni Mecmua, which he printed (first issue, 12.7.1917) and Tanin. He was among those who were exiled to Malta by the English in 1919. When he returned from exile he printed the review Küçük Mecmua in Diyarbakır (1922). He continued to write in the review Yeni Mecmua, which he republished (1 January – 13 September, 84 issues). In the same year he was elected as the Diyarbakır parliamentary deputy. He was appointed to the Council of Publishing and Translation as a director. He died in İstanbul where he had come to be treated for his illness. He is buried in the cemetery near the Tomb of Sultan Mahmut.

Ziyâ Gökalp who systemized the concept of Turkism in his book Türkçülüğün Esasları (The Principles of Turkism) became the pioneer of a nationalistic idea which supported Occidentalism in civilization, state control in economics and the purification of the language after he had abandoned his belief in the Empire of Turan (Turanism) which he had supported in opposition to the thoughts of the Islam Union and the Ottomans in the years of the 2nd Constitutional Monarchy. Many of his ideas, which he wrote in the reviews Küçük Mecmua and Yeni Mecmua, eventually became acts of law. He produced various works showing the ways of establishing Turkism in language, fine arts, morality, law, economy and philosophy.


POETRY: Şâki İbrahim Destanı (The Legend of the Bandit İbrahim, 1908), Kızıl Elma (The Red Apple, 1915), Altın Işık (The Golden Light, 1923), Ziya Gökalp Külliyatı I (Complete Works of Ziya Gökalp, poetry and folk tales, by Fevziye Abdullah Tansel, 1952).

OTHER WORKS: Türkleşmek – İslâmlaşmak – Muasırlaşmak (Becoming Turkish – Islamic- Modern, 1918), Doğru Yol (The True Path, 1923), Türk Töresi (The Turkish Custom, 1923), Türkçülüğün Esasları (The Principles of Turkism, 1923), Türk Medeniyeti Tarihi (The History of Turkish Civilization, 1925), under the name of Türk Medeniyeti Ansiklopedisi (The Encyclopedia of Turkish Civilization, 1989), Malta Mektupları (Maltese Letters, 1931. Limni Mektupları -The Letters of Limni, added and with the name of Ziya Gökalp Külliyatı II Limni ve Malta Mektupları – The Complete Works of Ziya Gökalp, Letters of Malta and Limni, by Fevziye Abdullah Tansel, 1965).

The Ministry of Culture published his works again in 1976 under the name of Doğumunun 100. Yılında Bütün Eserleri (Complete Works for the 100th Anniversary of His Birth). Some of his works were simplified and published by Yusuf Çotuksöken (1975-77).

To the Wind

Oh wind, wind where to

Flapping your invisible wings


While you coming down on a stream

you can hear surely

My heart’s cry


If you ever pass through


Scatter a sweet breeze on my land


Go and greet my home


Take kisses from me

To my dearest daughters!

Ziya Gokalp (1879-1924)

posted 9 March 2006

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



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Life on Mars

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Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection’s “lyric brilliance” and “political impulses [that] never falter.” A New York Times review stated, “Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we’re alone in the universe; it’s to accept—or at least endure—the universe’s mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith’s pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant.” Life on Mars follows Smith’s 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet’s second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans.

The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

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Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

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His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

*   *   *   *   *


Allah, Liberty, and Love

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 25 June 2012




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Yusuf Ziya Ortac    Ziya Gokalp