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Ataol Behramoglu on Princes’ Islands

“What do the Greek songs speak
Of night, of love
What do the Greek songs speak
Of our lives”,

Wrote in 1977, the great Turkish poet Ataol Behramoglu, in his poetry collection, released in Greece in 1981, from “Modern Times”, entitled “Turkey my sorrowful homeland, my beautiful homeland”.
At the beginning of the year, Behramoglu added to his work, yet another book, entitled “My own Princes’ Islands”, which was published in Turkey by the publishing house “Heyamola”, as part of the series “Istanbulum” (My Constantinople), which is included in the program of the Organization “Istanbul Cultural Capital of Europe 2010” .
Ataol Behramoglu, Professor of Russian Language and Literature at Istanbul University and a columnist for the newspaper Cumhuriyet, spends most his summers in Prince Island, which is one of the biggest of the Princes’ Islands. Besides, this was the reason he decided to write a book about the Princes’ Islands.
The message he conveys towards his Greek and Turkish readers is that people living in the Balkans, Anatolia and the Caucasus are real brothers and there is no room for narrow minded nationalism and chauvinism, as their national origins have been mixed.

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