SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Mignon, Laurent J-N. (2002) The beloved unveiled: Continuity and change in modern Turkish love poetry (1923-1980). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (15MB)


The thesis explores the ideological aspect of modern Turkish love poetry by focusing on the works of major poets and movements between 1923 and 1980. The approach to the theme of love was metaphorical and mystical in classical Ottoman poetry. During the period of modernisation (1839-1923), poets either rejected the theme of love altogether or abandoned Islamic aesthetics and adopted a Parnassian approach arguing that love was the expression of desire for physical beauty. A great variety of discourses on love developed during the republican period. Yahya Kemal sets the theme of love in Ottoman Istanbul and mourns the end of the relationship with the beloved who incarnates his conservative vision of national identity. The Five Syllabists contrast treacherous and sensual love in the city with pure and simple love in the Anatolian countryside, thus reflecting the Anatolianism of the nationalist intelligentsia. Nazim Hikmet approaches the theme from a variety of angles. He explores the links between love and human solidarity and humanises the beloved by writing about her in a realistic context. The Bizarre movement discusses the theme of love in the framework of its subjective realism and focuses more on the effects of love on the individual than on love itself Socialist poets do not approach the theme uniformly but all of them advocate a socially engaged realism and are opposed to the individualism of Bizarre. The movement of the Second Renewal equates love with sexuality and explores its impact on human relationships. Islamist poets too adopt a realist stance. They abandon the idealised gardens of the divan tradition and go on a mystical quest in the harshness of everyday reality. The ideological convictions of all these movements and poets are mainly expressed in the choice of setting of the relationship, in the image of the beloved and in the definition of love.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:15

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item