This Intimate War: Gallipoli/Çanakkale 1915 (2015)

BeDHBtGz0FjzPSaEB_48QlSypK78Xf_BI9kLDjhECA4This Intimate War Gallipoli/Çanakkale 1915 – İçli Dışlı Bir Savaş: Gelibolu/Çanakkale 1915, is the only contemporary Australian/Turkish book of poems on the Gallipoli/Çanakkale war. It is written by Dr Robyn Rowland AO and translated by Dr Mehmet Ali Çelikel.

This Intimate War: Gallipoli/Çanakkale 1915 (2015)

It began with the Battle of Çanakkale. It was hand-to-hand killing, the physical closeness of its soldiers unmasking the depersonalisation of the propaganda of war. It was shocking in its violence and reflects the experiences of Australian, Irish and Turkish men and women during the Çanakkale/ Gallipoli campaigns. It is accessible poetry about the experiences of Australians, allies and Turks – soldiers, munitions workers, nurses, families, composers, painters and poets – during the battle for Gallipoli, and its pre-cursor the Battle of Çanakkale. Rowland’s poetry is known for its honesty of feeling, and its emotional impact. This book is a moving and intimate portrait of two countries at war, while being embedded in an accurate historical context. It is bi-lingual for readers and audiences who are Turkish or English speaking. This is an essential contribution to the literature on Gallipoli, none of which is currently being produced in poetic form.

Initially drawn to Turkey by her Turkish sister-in-law, Robyn began work about its landscape and history in 2009. During that work she has been a guest of the Turkish Australian Cultural Centre and the Australian Consulate in Çanakkale, and there learned of the Turkish history during the Gallipoli (Gelibolou) war. Beginning work on poems about the war, Robyn realised her limited knowledge on the Turkish experience and its relationship to Australian history. Her manuscript of poems on the war is enriched by the translations of Turkish translator Dr Mehmet Ali Çelikel, with whom she has been giving bi-lingual readings in Turkey.

Bilge Kültür Sanat in Turkey and Five Islands Press in Australia share Dr Rowland and Dr Celikel’s belief that a book of poetry in both languages is needed to present the experiences of men and women from both countries in the war. The audience for these readings is the general public in both countries, but also students in translation studies, and English literature, secondary and tertiary level.

The book was sponsored by the Municipality of Çanakkale, a true bi-national collaboration. The cover painting is by the Turkish painter Korkut Uluğ.

The book was launched in both Australia by Five islands Press (late February) and Turkey by Bilge Kültür Sanat in March 2015. Readings took place in Melbourne, Izmir, Denizli, Malatya, Canakkale, Ankara and for Anzac Day in Turkey at Gallipoli at the VIP breakfast for VIP’s, Heads of State and Princes Charles and Harry, most of whom received the book as a gift from the Australian Embassy.

Dr Mehmet Ali Çelikel completed his MA in English Language and Literature at the University of Hertfordshire in England in 1997. He was awarded his PhD with a thesis entitled “The Post-Colonial Condition: The Fiction of Rushdie, Kureishi and Roy” at Liverpool University in England in 2001. He worked in the Department of English Language and Literature, Yüzüncü Yıl University in Van between 2002-2008. His book on post-colonial novel in Turkish, “Sömürgecilik Sonrası İngiliz Romanında Kültür ve Kimlik [Culture and Identity in Postcolonial English Novel]” was published in 2011. He has several publications in academic journals on post-colonial and postmodern fiction. He writes short stories. He currently works as an Associate Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Pamukkale University in Denizli, Turkey.

To read reviews of this book, please click here.