Heidi Trautmann

600 - Books – Books – Poetry in Cyprus : Aliye UMMANEL and her new book ‘Kuyu


By Heidi Trautmann


Less is more! That is the title of my interview with Aliye Ummanel and Less is More! is the theme of her introduction at the book launch of her new poetry book ‘Kuyu’ at the Khora Bookstore in Nicosia (cross section before you come to the Ledra Palace Crossing).

Aliye Ummanel explains to me the essence of her writing which is based on two principles that is simplicity and deepness…and, she added, it is courage to be simple and go to the core of matters, of the thoughts she has about life and things. It is true abstractionism and her words are the key for the readers to understand and find their own interpretation and/or solution.

The book is a compilation of poems over a period of the past five years; there is a first poetry books of hers ‘Düş Geceye Düşünce’, images, symbols, true to her principles.

With her work for the theatre she applies the same criteria and I have often observed this phenomenon in the plays she has directed.


Aliye Ummanel, born in Famagusta in 1979, is the dramaturg at the LBT – Nicosia Municipality Theatre, she loves her work as it is through theatre that she gets a direct connection or rather translation of words she either creates herself or has selected for a play…. “The moment I enter the theatre, I have a feeling of happiness, freedom. It is a miracle to be among people of the same kind; there is tension around me, a tension I need for living and working and…” she hesitates and adds with a note of surprise rather to herself… “we even get paid for it.” Aliye has been with the theatre for some years now, part of a new theatre generation with new ideas. She learnt her job from scratch.

I would like to recite a part of my interview with her to show her ideas:

….”We talk about literature; she has an affinity with Edgar Allen Poe, the mystery writer, a writer of symbolism. Symbolism – in words and gestures – has become the essence of her writing and directing, of her understanding of theatre.  “Also, for me literature is an alternative to the real world, to reality, a world one can easily live in, escape to, an alternative life, you understand?”  Yes, I do, I tell her; it is for many an alternative universe to go to.

So it is no wonder that Aliye chose literature and American Culture and Literature as her subject for study at the Ankara Hacettepe University, Department Theatre Theory, Criticism and Dramaturgy. “I learnt all about the styles and tools in literature, the techniques, the theories; I attended the theatre department and learnt about dramaturgy and theatre theories and did my Master’s degree in these disciplines, but I also went into literature and theatre criticism and attended a course on directing in London. We don’t have professional theatre or literary critics in the TRNC; what we read in the media are personal feelings, often well meant.  A professional critic should know about good theatre, and about good literature, the basics, and – what is paramount – criticism should be objective. Oh yes, before I joined the theatre, I worked as a critic for some time.”

When she returned to Cyprus in 2004, she was invited to join the Lefkosa Belediye Tiyatrosu as a dramaturg.”


The books are in Turkish; it is my intention to bring books written by local people to the attention of the foreign community to bring to light the universe of their thoughts and the things that matter to them.




you have forgotten how to.



in a direction you do not know.


Where is east

where is west?

Where is tomorrow

with whom remains the past?



The sun on your shoulders,



be one with the world.

Awaken your soul,

your soul a carcass.

Overflow first

then calm down


Just walk.


Publications by Aliye Ummanel

Düş Geceye Düşünce  (Poetry) 2007

Kuyu. (Poetry) 2014

Passa Tempo (play published in French).



Aliye Ummanel
Aliye Ummanel

Book Launch at Khora Bookstore
Book Launch at Khora Bookstore

Aliye reads from her book with Yaşar Ersoy listening
Aliye reads from her book with Yaşar Ersoy listening

Actress Özgür Oktay reading
Actress Özgür Oktay reading

Yasar Ersoy reading
Yasar Ersoy reading

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