by Selcuk Demirel
In Turkey, the art of cartoon started in the second half of 19th century and has developed in parallel to liveliness in publication life. With the publication of the first humor magazine, Diyojen , cartoon reached an independent milieu of publication. The cartoons of the period show, generally, the characteristic of drawings that emphasize the humorous side of anecdotes and poems, and of those drawings that ornament them.
With the establishment of the Republic, Cemal Nadir Guler and Ramiz Gokce, two important artists of Turkish cartoons, contributed, with their drawings, to the efforts of establishing a new state and of creating a Republican society. In the same period, Akbaba (Vulture), the most long-lived humor magazine of the Republican period, published by Yusuf Ziya Ortac, and in which various tendencies were displayed, left its mark on the period, in view of its cadre of strong authors and cartoonists.
Along with the new freedoms due to the transition to multi-party order in the aftermath of World War II, a transformation was experienced in humor. Marko Pasa, which was published by Sabahattin Ali and Aziz Nesin and whose cartoonist was Mustafa Uykusuz, was the most important humor magazine of the period.
The Generation of the 1950s that brought a new concept to the art of cartoon, developed a car- toon humor not based on writing and word. This group, forming a new and contemporary aesthetics of cartoon art, analyzed the structural problems of society in depth and drew accordingly. They spread their new concept of cartoon, not only by drawing, but also by collective exhibitions, articles, seminars and by such humor magazines as 41 Buçuk (41 and a half), Tef (Tambourine), Dolmus (Taxi) and Tas-Karikatur (Stone Cartoon).
The famous cartoonists of the period are Turhan Selcuk, Nehar Tublek, Ali Ulvi Ersoy, Eflatun Nuri Koc, Selma Emiroglu, Semih Balcioglu, Bedri Koraman, Altan Erbulak, Mustafa Eremektar, Sinan Bicakcioglu, Ferruh Dogan, Tonguc Yasar, Suat Yalaz, Yalcin Cetin and Oguz Aral. Cafer Zorlu, Zeki Beyner, Tan Oral, Nezih Danyal, Ercan Akyol, Erdogan Bozok, Orhan Ozdemir and Selcuk Demirel who were brought up between 1960 and 1970, continued the cartoon concept of the Generation of the 1950's by their original contributions.
The Cartoonists' Society, which was established in 1970, contributed to the development of a generation of young cartoonists through the International Cartoon Contest of Nasred- din Hodja, collective exhibitions and catalogs. Young cartoonists gathered in the weekly humor magazine, Girgir (Fun), under the management of Oguz Aral, developed, with the contributions of Tekin Aral, a popular humor, based on words, ridiculing mainly persons and events created by distorted urbanization.
by Selcuk Demirel
The change of values that came about in society after 1980, is being criticized and interpreted in a manner that combine word and writing with their drawings by Ismail Gulgec, Kamil Masaraci, Salih Memecan, Semih Poroy, Behic Ak, Piyale Madra, Hasan Kacan, Ergun Gunduz, Latif Demirci, Haslet Soyoz and Kemal Gokhan Gurses.
Turkish cartoon has a prominent place in world cartoon, thanks both to the international success of Turkish cartoonists and their exhibitions abroad, and to the international activities on the subject of cartoon art held in the country. The International Cartoon Contest of Nasreddin Hodja held by the Cartoonists' Society, the Hurriyet International Cartoon Contest held by Aydin Dogan Foundation, and the Ankara International Cartoon Festival held by the Cartoon Founda- tion, are some of the cartoon activities known worldwide.
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