A poet, writer and editor, MÜRSEL SÖNMEZ was born in Mesudiye, Ordu. His first poem appeared in Miliyet Arts Magazine. He continued his poetry production in such literary magazines as Mavera, Yönelişer, Hece, Kardelen, Düş Çınarı and also in Bir Nokta magazine where he served as its editor-in-Chief. He also wrote, for some time, his column in a newspaper. His published poetry collections include: Cüzler (Fascicles), Göz Aydınlığı (Congratulations), Epitaf (Epitaph), Tütün Küfesi (Large Tobocco Basket), Güvercin Ağacı (Witch Hazel) - Sare’ye Şiirler (Poems for Sare)-, Külçe (Nugget), Mansur Ahengi (Mansur’s Harmony) and the most recent Üzüm Meseli (Adage for Grapes). His prose writings: essays entitled Dar Vakit Günleri (Days with not much Time), Su Terazisi (Water Scales), and Ticaret ve Hayat (Commerce and Life). Another prose work of the writer is called “Good Name”. Currently he serves as the publishing consultant for Bir Nokta literary magazine, and has been working to prepare the publication for 16-years alongside with his colleagues.
THE FIFTEEN JULY EPIC We rose to the challenge of the night when treason set the county on fire We were a river, and we strangled the poisonous snake with our paws for faith As the evening with its cold gust was just entering through our windows A storm which knocked out our dinner table burst over us Bewildered, worried and uneasy as well as resigned, we were curious: What was it, what was going on and who was the darkness entering into our life? It was a July, it was a hot Friday, and there came a shadow of nightmare When the crimson spray of the evening light was hitting the windows, the screens The streets and news channels started rattling like an adder’s hissing The bandits were descending on the city, so were bullies of the earth on the country While fear was blocking all the street heads with all its armies The sword of valor was being sharpened already It was a July, it was a hot Friday City by city the whole country Individual by individual, wave by wave , step by step transformed Into a Zulfiqar, which strangled the traitor in its fork, and reborn from their hearts Man and woman, young and old, with or without white beard, the ones underground and on the ground, all of them Were awaken from their daily sleep through the Doomsday Trumpet Badr is awaken, so are Malazgirt and Çanakkale It just arrived In the steel wall of the enemy of mankind, nature, and sacred ones And of the fire eating, oppressing and blood sucking universal snake At the risk of blood, life, big hearted, blameless folks took to the squares Poor fellows, have-nots, roughneck guys, dervishes, mullahs and all the countrymen They bent the steel with their steely arms, and they beat the death with their desire for martyrdom And this way one night was replaced by a day And another oppression salvo was defeated “Oh my people, my people” You kiss wonderfully The resistance at its heart And how admirably You shoot the vandal in the forehead We silenced the barrels which were bleeding the time by saying Allahuekber with one voice That night in the life and death situation, we died and stood guard Mürsel Sönmez English Translation by Mesut Şenol