It is a beautiful, tender language that charms me, and that I once intended to learn (yes, also this one). Connected to the horizon of my speech through some threads of Arabic made invisible by deliberate reforms a few decades ago.
I've read Orhan Pamuk just like everyone else. I have perhaps a dozen of Turkish novels in Polish and English versions in my Multilingual Library; some of them brought from Turkey as souvenirs. But what I've heard in Leiden is that Turkish novels are not half as good as Turkish poetry. I can easily believe this. No book, on the other hand, can render the sound of it, unless one day I learn how to read it aloud for myself.
Phonetically, the language makes impression of fluidity; it sounds natural and easy to speak. At the same time, it makes an impression of rich texture, with its inaudible ğ's and aspired T's; sounds tender with its ç's and c's. Makes a great choice of consonants, none of them alien or unpronounceable to me.
And I'm really not sure if this verse applies to me:
For the roads of the East that are not oriental
there are no passages in the West, with its confusion
of parts: the History atlas, emblems
of the soul, inaccurate scales, broken compass, blind lighthouse, difference in mentality
points of view, chain of continuity, units of currency, kinds of measuring, wounded
consciousness, eclipse of reason, Plato's cave, Gazali's mirror,
an empire of signs and images
Even if I'm not really sure what a Gazali's mirror might be. Did he mean that little Fürstenspiegel that al-Ghazali wrote for some unknown Seljuq prince?
Turkish Literature Night, Universiteit Leiden, 30.04.2019