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Sanatçılar Parkı in Akat-Istanbul


At the entrance to the artist park in Akat is a sculpture depicting the poet Nâzım Hikmet (1902-1963). Hikmet is considered to be the founder of modern Turkish literature. As the son of a governor, he grew up in Aleppo and Diyarbakir and attended the military high school on the Princes’ islands Heybeliada in Istanbul, which was subordinate to the German naval officer Wolfgang Böcking. The poet, who had German and Polish ancestors, criticized German influences in “Human Landscapes from My Country” (1938).

Deeply impressed by the October Revolution, he decided to study sociology and art history in Moscow. His poetry is influenced by Russian futurism, especially Sergei Yesenin and Vladimir Mayakovsky. As a member of the illegal Turkish Communist Party, he spent 12 years in prison after returning to Turkey. He had to flee to the Soviet Union in 1951 and died there in 1963. He was a prominent writer and traveled throughout the Eastern Bloc. Nevertheless, Nazim Hikmet, whose Turkish citizenship was revoked in 1952, missed his homeland until his death. His poetry was banned in Turkey until the 1960s.

The artist park is located in Akat in Beşiktaş. It is one of the largest and most beautiful green spaces within the city’s business district. It will be one of the Venues of the Mahalla Festival in September.

Busts and other sculptures are placed in memory of famous Turkish artists and poets. There are also monuments for partnerships with other countries and cities. The city of Erlangen, for example, is partner city of Beşiktaş.

  • The Poem Davet/Invitation
  • Sculpture for the partnership of Erlangen and Beşiktaş


Galloping from farthest Asia

and jutting out into the Mediterranean

like a mare’s head—

this country is ours.

Wrists in blood, teeth clenched, feet bare

on this soil that’s like a silk carpet—

this hell, this paradise is ours.

Shut the gates of servitude, keep them shut,

stop man worship another man—

this invitation is ours.

To live, free and single like a tree

but in brotherhood like a forest—

this longing is ours.

Nazim Hikmet


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