Cahit Koytak
Cahit Koytak was born in 1949 in Erzurum. He graduated from the Chemistry Department of the Istanbul Technical University. His first poems were published in Diriliş literary magazines, and the other magazines such as Kelime, Yöneliş, Yedi İklim, Kayıtlar, Gergedan, Defter, Kaşgar, Hece, Yansıma, Le Poete Travaille, Kitaplık, Kırklar, Anlayış, BirNokta, Yeniyazı printed his poems. His debut poetry collection called İLK ATLAS – FIRST ATLAS was published in 1990. From the beginning of the 80s, he has translated literary works from English and French into Turkish. His translation of Frantz Fanon’s book ‘SİYAH DERİ BEYAZ MASKE’ – BLACK AND SKIN WHITE MASKS brought him “the Translator of the Year Prize” in 1988 presented by the Turkish Writers Union. In Crimea in 2005, he was awarded with the “Ahmet Yesevi Grand Poetry Prize”, and he was given the honorary PhD title by 19 Mayıs (May) University. He has published many poetry collections and translation works. Cahit Koytak continues to share his poems in newspapers and the Internet media.  



“We, the carefree poets of the world,

the poor buskers,

the street philosophers”

this is a call at the square

by one of those,

with crazy flying minds,


“Come on,

stop depleting your mind and labor,

by trying to create

fake Hamlets

through taking Hegel and Heidegger

from the very deep layers

of the earth’s core,


Let us find a place

in the desert like conscience of humanity

to bury the weapons carried to the fair

on the backs of the worms and insects

bred in the corpses

of Faust of Hitler!


come on, ignore the applause,

until all the cries of the oppressed

would be silencing the sounds of the weapons

all around the world,


until there will be no more

a fence, barbed wire and a wall

in the God’s heaven on Earth,


let us compare our songs

not to the philosophical fumes or smoke

but to the hungry, naked and sick

children’s voice,

the sighs of mothers and fathers!”



Cahit Koytak

English Translation by Mesut Şenol