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The development of the Turkish drama as a vehicle for social and political comment in the post-revolutionary period, (1924 to the present

Robson, Bruce (1970) The development of the Turkish drama as a vehicle for social and political comment in the post-revolutionary period, (1924 to the present. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The modem Turkish dramatist has two traditions of theatre on which to draw: the folk play called 'orta oyunu' and the classical theatre of Western Europe. These have been known in Turkey for at least a hundred and fifty years. When writing comedy, he has found 'orta oyunu' traditions of most use; when writing on social or political themes, the traditions of Western European theatre, as first employed by Namik Kemal, have served him best. Since 1924, he has concentrated on plots which presented characters learning to live with the profound social changes demanded by the Constitution of that year. Criticism has entered his work either by contrasting individuals at variance with the norm as represented by Republican society, or conversely, society's short-comings with some exemplary individual dedicated to Revolutionary concepts. Because of a traditionally oppressive censorship, he has not been in the habit of being outspoken in his criticism and he has become very adept at cloaking his comment in mythical, legendary and historical plot. When the censorship was relaxed as a direct result of the 1960 Revolution, all at once he was free to voice opinions he had masked since the foundation of the Republic and these burst forth with an adolescent enthusiasm wherein the criticism was forth right but not always reasonable or accurate. It is foreseen that the next stage in his evolution will be to distance himself from his subjects and present his opinions in a more mature argument. It is noted that his critical work has been understandably more honest and less cryptic since the relaxing of the censorship, especially since 1965. Fine Turkish plays have been written in this period but no form of expression essentially Turkish in inspiration has yet evolved.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1970
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:49

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