Interview with Haydar Ergülen

What is the situation of poetry in your country?

In Turkey, there is a strong poetry tradition. Our poetry has been influenced by mystic poetry before & during the Ottoman period, Folk poetry and the Divan poetry which is also called "Palace poetry". The Republican period is full of outstanding examples of modern poetry. Today so many poets, both from the secular and the Islamist circles, Kurdish or Turkish poets writing in Turkish, both maintain this strong tradition and also write their original poetry.

Do you think poetry is an instrument that can bring different cultures and religions nearer?

Yes.  It brings closer not only different cultures and religions, but also the poets of different beliefs and political opinions in Turkey. I have always thought that the poetry has a function of bringing together and convergence.

Today, language is becoming impoverished: can poetry return value to words?

The poetry is both future and past. Poetry hosts the memories of the both past and future. For that reason, even if the language of an era or today is poor, poetry enriches it.  While doing this, undoubtedly it also adds current language to its own accumulation. I know that this is the case with the poetry in Turkey.  Moreover, in the meeting of the languages of the past and today, a brand new poem is also revealed.

Poetry in the world of young people. Does it have a future?

Poetry is always advanced by new poets. The new one is brought by the new people. Also the continuation of the old poetry and the existence of old poets is possible with the emergence of the new poets and the advance of the new poetry.

Catching the language of youth, understanding the young language is among the tasks of poetry.
We know it has always been this was up until today. I see no reason why it should not be that way from today till the future.

Poetry on social networks: quality or rubbish?

There is a movement in Turkey called "şiirsokakta" (poetryonthestreet) for the last 4-5 years. I think social media is also part of it. I think it is necessary in order to begin with poetry, in order to make poetry read.

Fotografia di Haydar Ergülen
The poet Haydar Ergülen