Hamdi Topçuoğlu’s Book Launch

Hamdi Topçuoğlu From Caria to Ionia – The Country of Sunny Rains
14 May 2012
Mr. Hamdi Topçuoğlu, who is the president of Bodrum City Council, an educator, author and poet as well as being an amiable and intellectual member of H3A, launched his new book at the Bodrum Chamber of Commerce.   The speakers, Selçuk Şahin, Ludmila Denisenko, Kadir Vargı, Semih Adıyaman and Güler Bener discussed the different aspects of the book which impressed them and emphasised Hamdi Topçuoğlu’s versatile personality.

In his opening address, Selçuk Şahin said that reading the book “From Caria to Ionia” would help us to know more about the region we live in and to enjoy it more.  Selçuk Bey added that, after having known Hamdi Bey, he saw Bodrum from a different perspective and appreciated the value of archaeological places like Stratonikeia and Lagina and went to visit these places many more times thereafter.

The second speaker, Ludmila Denisenko, explained with examples how Hamdi Bey differed from the other people she knew and how genuine he was, easily making friends with the folk despite his highly intellectual status. Ludmila continued by saying that she admired the descriptions of nature throughout the book including the title.  She also underlined the fact that the author used some Turkish words that are no longer part of the daily language.  She stated that Hamdi Bey’s outstanding poems add to the literary richness of the book which also includes legends, myths and archaeological information.

Kadir Vargı confided to the audience how Hamdi Topçuoğlu’s writing about the Aegean region influenced him taking him back to his childhood in the Black Sea region of Turkey.  While speaking about his childhood memories, his sentimental words moved the audience. Ending his speech with a poem of his own was an excellent way of demonstrating how much Hamdi Bey writing has inspired him.

Semih Adıyaman conveyed to the audience that Hamdi Bey’s writing resembles Claude Lelouche films. He said, “When a voyager wants to gather information, an archaeologist gives extensive detailed technical information, a tourist guide makes it more enjoyable by adding some information of nature but Hamdi Bey has added literature to all of these.”  He ended his speech by saying that it is a pleasure to travel with someone who has lived in this area.

The last speaker, Güler Bener, compared Hamdi Bey’s book to the blue voyage. She said that in the book she found the taste of nature as well as history, that the author knows the region very well and understands and portrays the nature as well as understanding and portraying Anatolian people.  She also stated that she was very much impressed by the poems and by the fact that, the book being launched in May, the first story was dedicated to mothers.

Following the speeches, Hamdi Topçuoğlu thanked Dr Enis Timuçin for the drawing of the book cover and Filiz Okat for editing the book. They, in turn, thanked Hamdi Bey and relayed to the audience the important role of Hamdi Bey in their lives.

The book launch ended with Hamdi Bey’s signing of his books and some more chatting on the part of the audience in the foyer.

Vivian Kohen

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