on January 10, the day of his birthday, the 3rd after his death
By Heidi Trautmann
Fikret Demirağ, the poet, omnipresent on the many stone walls of the Ismet Güney Art Centre in Nicosia, his huge-sized portraits, the young man, soft eyed with the tender boyish smile, the moustache first black and pencil thin, later greyish; grey it was when I met him three years ago at his home. His eyes then still had the same quality of softness perhaps a little wiser but so very humane; and next to his smile on the posters his poems, short ones and in big letters. I am impressed and congratulate Hüseyin Özinal who has designed the exhibition, the posters, the entire composition, and the members of the Artists and Writers Union of North Cyprus who have helped to realize the exhibition.
There was Nahide from Işik Bookstore with the newest book by Fikret Demirağ, he could no longer publish himself; but the manuscript was ready in his drawers, and now I buy it and he has never seen it printed ‘Yildızı Kayıp Düşen’ It represents the ‘template’ sort of, for translations into many languages. This is planned. “It came out of the press this very morning,” says Neşe Yaşın, president of the Artists and Writers Union, right in time for the celebration of his 3rd birthday after his death; he had died on November 28, 2010. Emine Demirağ, his wife, signed the book for me, we have spent many hours together.
The event was opened by Neşe Yaşın and her colleague, the President of the Turkish Writers Union, as Fikret Demirağ is a renown and most appreciated poet in Turkey too. During the ceremony Neşe expressed the hope and wish for a literature museum which can be easily filled today with all the treasures slumbering in so many poets’ houses. The venue foreseen for such a museum is the former police station opposite the Saray Hotel and next to the Court. It is empty and no longer in anybody’s use.
Where will all the exhibits go after the exhibition, I asked Tamer Öncül, poet and treasurer of the Union. “Part of it will be displayed at the Naci Talat Peace and Guest House in Nicosia, where there is a small room dedicated to Fikret, the rest will have to stored until we have rooms available.”
Everybody in the active and creative scene in North Cyprus seems to be anxiously waiting for a museum for their treasures; a government cannot expect artists, writers and other creative people to go on creating and producing and not offer them the possibility and the guarantee that their work – for the profit and sake of the country will find a safe place of respect and recognition and also as a place where the young generation can learn about their country’s history.
In showcases laid out with red taffeta were more photos and newspaper clippings, Fikret’s type writer and his reading glasses; letters he has received from his friends, for example from Zeki Ali, who stands next to me and points at his own letter to explain it to me. At that time Zeki lived in Canada with his family and he had strong bonds to Fikret to whom he sent his poems and who undertook to publish them in newspapers and magazines. “He was like a father figure to us young poets.”
A very beautiful and touching exhibition, a show everybody who has lost his heart to Cyprus should visit.
The exhibition will be open until January 25, Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 12.30 and 13.30 to 15.30 and on Thursdays till 17.00 hrs.