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Refik Durbaş: Profession, Recognition, Awards, Cause Of Death And Poetic Legacy

Refik Durbaş, The Renowned Turkish Poet

In the realm of Turkish poetry, the year has cast a somber shadow with the departure of three prolific poets—Enver Ercan, Ülkü Tamer, and, most recently, Refik Durbaş, who bid farewell to the world just two days ago.

Born on February 10, 1944, near Erzurum, Durbaş embarked on a literary journey that left an indelible mark on Turkish literature.

Early Life And Academic Pursuits

Refik Durbaş, hailing from Erzurum, began his academic journey in Izmir.

His initial foray into higher education led him to Istanbul University, where he delved into the intricacies of Turkish Language and Literature.

However, fate had a different plan, and he eventually abandoned his formal studies. Despite this detour, Durbaş’s academic roots would go on to shape his poetic expressions in profound ways.

The Evolution Of A Poet

  • Durbaş emerged as a dynamic intellectual, contributing significantly as a columnist and poet.
Refik Durbas(@wikimedia)
  • His literary odyssey commenced in the early 1970s with the publication of his first poetry books.
  • Initially influenced by the ‘Second New’ poetry movement, his verses soon evolved, taking on a robust social perspective.
  • This evolution marked a pivotal moment in Durbaş’s poetic career, setting the stage for a unique blend of literary prowess and social consciousness.

Honoring A Literary Luminary

As we bid farewell to Refik Durbaş, we acknowledge the void left in the realm of Turkish poetry.

His words will continue to resonate, offering solace to those who seek refuge in the profound beauty of language.

In honoring his legacy, let us embrace the enduring power of poetry—a force that transcends temporal boundaries.

Embracing The Poetry Of Life

In conclusion, the departure of Enver Ercan, Ülkü Tamer, and Refik Durbaş underscores the fragility of life and the enduring impact of literary expressions.

Through their verses, we are reminded that poetry is not merely a collection of words but a timeless reflection of the human experience.

As we navigate the currents of existence, let us find solace and inspiration in the immortal verses left behind by these literary luminaries.

Navigating Influences And Style

Durbaş’s early poems resonated with the echoes of ‘Second New’ poetry, showcasing his adeptness at weaving words with finesse.

As time unfurled, his poetic palette expanded, embracing a more pronounced social narrative.

His verses became a powerful instrument for exploring societal nuances, capturing the essence of human experiences with an unfiltered lens.

Refik Durbas
Refik Durbas(@hepkitap)


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Refik Durbaş: His Professional Journey

In the world of Turkish literature, Refik Durbaş stands as an eminent figure whose life and works continue to captivate readers.

From his humble beginnings in Pasinler to receiving prestigious awards.

A Glimpse Into Durbaş’s World: “Tanışma Anları” by Tomris Uyar

Tomris Uyar, in her journal titled “Tanışma Anları” (Moments of Encounter), delves into the enigmatic moments of meeting various writers.

It was in this collection that the subtitled “Bir Uyumsuzun Notları” caught my attention. Uyar, fueled by her passion for writing, divulges the secrets of the times she crossed paths with fellow authors, painting vivid portraits of those magical moments.

These initial encounters, steeped in the transcendence of literary love, have always sent shivers down my spine

Early Life And Education

Refik Durbaş was born in the picturesque district of Pasinler, Erzurum.

Although his academic journey began in Izmir, where he completed high school, he left his education at Istanbul University’s Faculty of Letters, Turkish Language, and Literature department before its completion.

Despite this early departure, it marked the beginning of a literary journey that would shape Turkish poetry.

The Journey Into Poetry

  • Durbaş’s poetic odyssey commenced with the publication of his first poem in the art pages of the Ege Ekspres newspaper in Izmir.
  • His poetic prowess garnered attention in various magazines, including Devinim, Geçit, Sanat Olayı, Soyut, and Papyrus.
  • Alongside friends, he founded Evrim magazine from 1962 to 1964 and later Alan 67 magazine in 1967.
  • In 1971, Durbaş compiled his initial poems in the book “Bird Flood,” marking the inception of his prolific career as a poet.
  • Notably, his poetry evolved over time, embracing a social orientation while maintaining a distinct style characterized by unique language and metaphors.
Refik Durbas
Refik Durbas(@bbci)

The Poetic Legacy

Refik Durbaş left an indelible mark on Turkish poetry with a diverse body of work.

Some of his notable poetry collections include “Moonlight in My Cell,” “Teas Are From the Company,” and “A New Notebook-Poems-An Unknown Love.”

His poems vividly portrayed the world of bazaars, working girls, marketplaces, and tea houses, utilizing a blend of old words seamlessly woven into everyday language.

Unveiling The Poetic Tapestry

Delving into Durbaş’s poetic tapestry, one encounters a rich amalgamation of linguistic prowess and socio-cultural commentary.

Famous Poetic Lines Written By Refik Durbas

His ability to navigate the complexities of human emotions and societal dynamics set him apart, establishing a legacy that transcends the boundaries of time.

The Impact On Modern Turkish Poetry

The departure of Enver Ercan, Ülkü Tamer, and now Refik Durbaş marks the end of an era in Turkish poetry.

Each poet brought a distinctive voice to the literary landscape, contributing to the mosaic of modern Turkish verse.

Durbaş, in particular, leaves behind a body of work that not only reflects the zeitgeist of his era but also serves as a timeless reservoir of inspiration for aspiring poets.

Memorable Meetings: Anecdotes Of Literary Acquaintances

  • Recalling Vüs’at O. Bener’s laughter-filled recollection of an evening with Orhan Koçak, one cannot help but ponder the peculiarities of forging connections over a glass of rakı.
  • The thought of inviting someone to a table, a prelude to acquaintance, raises intriguing questions.
  • Adnan Azar, in a casual coffee shop rendezvous, shared his tale of meeting with Adnan Azar and Hüseyin Ferhad, immersing in fervent poetry discussions over the pages of “Türk Dili” magazine.
  • Such encounters, marked by shared passion, are the threads that weave the fabric of literary kinship

A Glimpse Into Durbaş’s Literary Contributions

Apart from his poetic endeavors, Durbaş contributed significantly to Turkish literature.

His works extended beyond poetry, including reviews, interviews, and anthologies.

Noteworthy publications such as “Galata Bridge,” “An Istanbul That Cannot Be Essayed,” and “Yasemin and Seagull” showcased his versatility as a writer.

Refik Durbas
Refik Durbas(@haberturk)

Karanfil Sokak Chronicles: Akif Kurtuluş’s Narrative

Akif Kurtuluş, narrating his encounter with Refik Durbaş on Karanfil Sokak, provides a glimpse into the spontaneity of their connection.

A chance meeting, a broken signboard, and the proposal to draw lots for a young poet title – moments etched in the narrative of their friendship.

These anecdotes, seemingly mundane, unfold the layers of human connection, a theme that resonates in Durbaş’s poetry.

In The Heart Of Darkness: Durbaş’s Enduring Light

The 80s were shrouded in darkness, much like the present. Yet, amid the shadows, resilient figures emerged. “Yeter artık yeter!” (“Enough is enough!”) echoes louder than ever.

Refik Durbaş stands as one of those unwavering individuals who, through his poetry, becomes the voice of prisoners, laborers, and those who persistently resist.

His verses resonate across societal layers, a testament to his role as a representative of a generation woven into the fabric of our society

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Refik Durbaş: Recognition, Awards, Cause Of Death And Poetic Legacy

Recognition And Awards

Refik Durbaş’s literary contributions earned him several accolades.

In 1979, he received the Yeditepe Poetry Award, followed by the 1983 Necatigil Poetry Award for “Apprentice Wanted.”

His poetic journey culminated with the prestigious 2014 PEN Turkey Poetry Award for “Menzil.”

Recent Health Struggles

  • Refik Durbaş expresses a positive outlook on life despite facing serious health issues.
  • He mentions a 60-year-old feeling of the inevitability of death but emphasizes his determination to live, even with dialysis
  • Durbaş talks about experiencing four major illnesses in the last nine months, including diverticular bleeding, heart problems, wounds, and a kidney problem.
  • He describes the physical and emotional toll these health issues have taken on him.

Remembering A Literary Luminary

Fahri Özdemir, Durbaş’s publisher and close friend, acknowledged his significance in Turkish poetry, hailing him as a person of integrity devoid of lies and self-interest.

Poet Betül Dünder reflected on Durbaş’s impact, marking the conclusion of an era in poetry.

Refik Durbas
Refik Durbas(@haberturk)

Tributes And Reflections

Tributes poured in from various literary circles, underscoring Durbaş’s contribution to popularizing Turkish poetry.

Poet Haydar Ergülen, Feridun Andaç, and PEN Turkey Board of Directors shared their perspectives, depicting Durbaş as a poet who seamlessly blended traditional and modern influences.

Legacy In Turkish Literature

Refik Durbaş’s contributions to Turkish literature extend far beyond the confines of his verses.

His role as a columnist added another layer to his multifaceted persona, engaging readers with insightful perspectives on contemporary issues.

The resonance of his words echoed through the corridors of literary discourse, solidifying his position as a luminary in Turkish literature

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