How did Ali Safa Bey succeed in this new epoch of Turkey?

Essay by chrisquestHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2005

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Book: "Memed My Hawk"

Author: Yashar Kemal


1920, Turkey - A time which peasants and serfs after the just fallen Ottoman Empire should have been acquiring their own land and own sense of independence. Most were, as well as benefiting from the new found government. Although, not all fractions of Turkey had been influenced by the change in supervision. As Yashar Kemal writes in his heroic novel Memed, My Hawk the isolated secluded lands of Turkey were still under landowners command. Ali Safa Bey represents that small percentage of Turks that were, after the new instated law, still in control of peoples land, profiting from others labor on the land. Kemal also uses his novel to convey various tribulations that plague modern Turkey, in addition he does so in such a way that he passes on local knowledge without it being a burden to local readers. So how did Ali Safa Bey succeed in this new epoch of turkey? Ali Safa Bey was just one of Kemal's side stories included in his novel, Ali Safa uses wit, friendship, and the help of brigands to gain and secure his acquisition of property.

The character of Ali Safa Bey comprises of a man with quite a high degree of education, who studied at both the Imperial School at Adana, and then the Law Faculty in Istanbul. He was a bright man with a bleak future, his father "an old-time Agha had lost his fortune," (page 232). As a deteriorating lawyer he was enticed by the new value of land. "Thanks to a lot of legal quibbles he managed to obtain from the villagers the return of the lands which his father had once been forced by poverty to sell" (page 233). Ali Safa realized that with land came great...