A Tribute to Attila Ilhan featuring Sunay Akin

Friday, May 5, 2006
7:00 PM

Tinker Auditorium
The French Institute / Alliance Française
55 East 59th Street
(between Park and Madison Avenues)
New York, NY 10022

This program will be presented in Turkish.

Tickets: $ 10, $ 9 (Moon and Stars Project members)

For tickets please click the BUY button or call (212) 229-1207.


The Moon and Stars Project is proud to present a tribute to a towering figure in Turkish literature, Attila Ilhan, whom we lost on October 10, 2005. Please join us to commemorate this celebrated poet, writer and intellectual, as seen through the eyes of another prominent Turkish poet, Sunay Akin.

Sunay Akin met Ilhan in the early 1980s as a young writer for Sanat Olayi, an arts magazine published by Ilhan himself. Together, they shared the challenge and responsibility of being active intellectuals in Istanbul in the volatile times following the military coup of 1980. Their friendship, which began in such trying times, would last for almost 25 years. Now, Akin comes to New York to tell the story of Attila Ilhan in the ancient meddah tradition of storytelling, bringing this captivating tradition to a modern audience.

Though always a few steps ahead of his contemporaries, Ilhan was very much a man of his time; his life story cannot be extracted from the story of the Turkey he lived in and wrote about. In Sunay Akin’s words:

“Attila Ilhan is the captain of a ship painted blue... Anatolian fire blazing in its stokehold, it steers its course in the sea of Turkish poetry…

Surely, a film is being shot on deck, seagulls racing for a spot in the background…

A high school student on the run is hiding in a lifeboat, wanted for a love letter with lines from a forbidden poet!

A murder has been committed in the dining room, a fruit knife sticking out of the victim’s back… A writer on exile is making paper boats out of the pages of his books and throwing them onto the sea…

Attila Ilhan’s ship is approaching the port of New York, to take a Mohican back to the streets of Istanbul where he can light a fire…

You are not “obliged” to board this ship!”