Turkish Ecocriticism: From Neolithic to Contemporary Timescapes explores the values, perceptions, and transformations of the environment, ecology, and nature in Turkish culture, literature, and the arts. Through these themes, it examines historical and contemporary environmentally engaged literary and cultural traditions in Turkey. The volume re-imagines Turkey in its geo-social and ecocultural narratives of multiple connections and complexities, in its multi-faceted webs of histories, and in its rich multispecies stories.
Serpil Oppermann is professor of environmental humanities and the director of Environmental Humanities Center at Cappadocia University.
Sinan Akıllı is assistant professor in the department of English Language and Literature and the director of School of Graduate Studies and Research at Cappadocia University.
Introduction by Serpil Oppermann and Sinan Akıllı
Part I: Ancient Nature cultures and Latter-day Ecospirituality
Chapter 1: The Contemporary Reflections of Tengrism in Turkish Climate Change Fictions by Fatma Aykanat
Chapter 2: Toxic Agentic Legacy in Turkish Waters: From Sacrosanct Bodies to Toxic Bodies of Water by Pelin Kümbet
Chapter 3: Turkey’s First Ecologist: Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, The Fisherman of Halicarnassus by Roger Williams
Part II: Urban Ecologies
Chapter 4: Irrigating and Weeding the Bostan in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Turkish Literature by Aleksandar Shopov
Chapter 5: Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories and the City and the Local-Global Tension in Ecocritical Place Studies by Scott Slovic
Chapter 6: Urban Ecologies/Urbanatures of İstanbul in Contemporary Turkish Novel by Gülşah Göçmen
Chapter 7: Yaşar Kemal’s Ecopoetics of the Sea: Loss of Marine Biodiversity in Turkey’s Coastal Waters by Adem Balcı
Part III: Animals: Past Reflections
Chapter 8: Human-Animal Relations in Neolithic Anatolian Art: the Heritage of the Bull by Louise Westling
Chapter 9: Ottoman Ecocriticism and Political Ecology: Horse-Human Relationships in Evliya Çelebi and After by Donna Landry
Chapter 10: “Then There are the Packs of Dogs”: Turkish Street Dogs, Nineteenth-Century British Travelers, and Tourist Wonders by Jeanne Dubino
Part IV: Animals: Present Reflections
Chapter 11: When Horses and Human Beings Meet in Anatolia: Towards a Critical Examination of the Tradition of Yılkı Horses by Emre Koyuncu
Chapter 12: Writing and Animal(ity) in Contemporary Turkish Fiction by Meliz Ergin
Chapter 13: Precarious Lives of Animals and Humans through the Lens of Contemporary Turkish Literature by Özlem Öğüt Yazıcıoğlu and Ezgi Hamzaçebi
Part V: Ecological Arts, Aesthetics, and Performance
Chapter 14: The Ecophobia/Biophilia Spectrum in Turkish Theatre: Anatolian Village Plays and (Karagöz-Hacivat) Shadow Plays by Simon C. Estok and Z. Gizem Yılmaz Karahan
Chapter 15: Postecological Aesthetics and Contemporary Turkish Art in the Anthropocene by Kerim Can Yazgünoğlu
Chapter 16: Speculative Ecologies of Plastics in the Environmental Aesthetics of Pınar Yoldaş by Burcu Baykan
Chapter 17: Spiritus Domus: The Decorum of Ecological-Ecesis by Creativity by Yusuf Eradam
About the Editors
About the Contributors
Situated at the nexus of ecocriticism and the environmental humanities, this volume calls us to reconnect present-day eco-cultural practices with humanity’s roots of 12,000 years past. At the crossroads of Anatolia, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea, Turkey’s ancient sites such as Göbekli Tepe and Çatal Höyük provide texts of human interanimality, and the sweep of this volume recuperates Turkey’s human-ecological arts, narratives, and cultural-economic practices, placing this history in conversation with the urgent eco-crises of the Capitalocene.
Growing from the ecological diversity of the intersection of three continents and the intellectual fertility of three disciplines—ecocriticism, the environmental humanities, and Turkish literary and cultural studies—this generous volume introduces Anglophone critics to ancient and modern Turkish ecological thought. It is a gift for which we are grateful.