The poet Ece Ayhan Çağlar was born in 1931 in the western province of Turkey, Muğla, on the Aegean sea. He attended elementary and secondary schools at the Atatürk Lycée in Istanbul; he then attended the school of Political Sciences in the capital city of Ankara, graduating in 1959. From 1962 to 1966, Ece Ayhan was a civil servant, a head district administrator (kaymakam) in the Anatolian districts of Gurun, Alaca and Cardak. In 1966 he quit his position. Returning to Istanbul, he worked as a translator for the Turkish edition of the French dictionary Larousse (Meydan Larousse) and the archives section of Turkish Cinematèque Association. Since 1966 he has held no other job.
By 1966 Ayhan had already written two of his three major works, Kinar Hanimin Denizleri ("Miss Kinar's Waters") (1959) and Bakissiz Bir Kedi Kara (A Blind Cat Black) (1965). To write his third, Orthodoxies (1968), his most historical, satirical, fact- and Istanbul-obsessed work ─ a pun filled, vertical serialism ─ Ece Ayhan moved to the streets of Istanbul. The poem delves into the underbelly of the city, Galata, historically both its red light district ─ of transvestites, girl and boy prostitutes, tattooed roughs, and heroin merchants, that is, the unnamed or "euphemized" outcasts of Turkish culture ─ and the district where minorities ─ Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Russians, etc. ─ lived.
Since 1968, Ayhan published State and Nature (1973) and Disperse and Move Out of the Way (1977), a collection of his work until 1976 with essays about him, and several other books. Ayhan served as a member of the PIP Advisory board until his death in 2002.
BOOKS OF POETRY:
Kinar Hanimin Denizleri (Istanbul, 1959); Bakissiz Bir Kedi Kara (Istanbul, 1965); Ortodoksluklar (Istanbul, 1968); Devlet Ve Tabiat (Istanbul, 1968); Yurt Savul [poems and essays on the poet] (Istanbul, 1977, 1982, 1993); Zambakli Padisah (Ankara, 1981); Cok Eski Adiyladir (Istanbul, 1982); Yanliz Kardesce (Eski Sehir, 1984); Kolsuz Bir Hattat (Istanbul, 1987); Canakkaleli Melahata Iki El Mektup [prose poems] (Istanbul, 1991); Son Siirler (Istanbul, 1993).
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS:
A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies, translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1997).
See Green Integer title(s) by this author