Cultural And Political Criticism In Güntekin's Novels

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During times of political turmoil or unrest, the pulse of a country, region, or general population can be seen most clearly through the scholarship, and more specifically the novels, being published at that time. There are many reasons that the novel acts as the perfect litmus test for the greater society around it at the time of its publishing, the most significant of which is the fact that cultural and political criticisms can be veiled under the genre of fiction. This does not always absolve the author of any persecution from the powers that be, but it can help them keep a slight sense of anonymity and security they would otherwise not enjoy if they were publishing pieces that were direct critiques of the government.
The Turkish novelist
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The Wren is able to take aim at issues otherwise off limits to journalists because of the realistic fiction genre it operates under. During the time Güntekin was writing, the city of Istanbul was under British control due to the city’s strategic location. This western presence in the near east created social turmoil amongst the natives in the city and although this was just a century ago, there was a very fine line that needed to be walked by those who were critics of it. Istanbul was not a free city while Güntekin was writing. By writing his novel in a city occupied by the British, Güntekin created a text where the he was forced to walk a thin line between the acceptable and the illegal. Contrary to many perspectives taken by Turkish nationalists at the time who were critical of the British culture much less their occupation of the city, Güntekin does not offer up an unsavory view of the British. Conversely he actually illustrates westerners, in the form of Christians, as kind, loving and humane peoples whose intentions are more often good than bad. The result is a novel that is in many ways pro-western. At the same time his text holds strong to the Ottoman cultural values that were seeming to disappear in the face of Western influence in the wake of Ottoman collapse. This is clearly seen at the conclusion of his work when Feride returns to the city and to the man she was supposed to marry after her failed venture into Anatolia in pursuance of a new life. Güntekin appears to believe that Western styled governance and political frame works could be implemented into what was left of the Ottoman Empire and could be beneficial. But that being said, he does not want to see the Ottoman societal mores disappear. The author in many ways had a negative view on this entire movement. He seemed to believe that this was going to bring down the empire and the only way

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