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JAN
22

In 2015, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) introduced an encouragement award to support outstanding translations of literary works, including but not limited to poetry, short stories and novels. The Talât Sait Halman Translation Award is given out annually by İKSV and has been established in honour of Turkey’s first Minister of Culture and the President of İKSV’s Board of Trustees (2008 – 2014) Talât Sait Halman, who passed away in 2014.

Either publishers or the translators can make submissions for the Talât Sait Halman Translation Award. They can apply for the award with literary works translated into Turkish from any language. Books translated into Turkish in the same calendar year as the award will be eligible. The selection committee will determine the winning translator who will be presented with a onetime award of 15,000 TL.

Headed by author Doğan Hızlan, the Talât Sait Halman Translation Award Selection Committee consists of author, translator, and critic Sevin Okyay, author and translator Ahmet Cemal, author and translator Yiğit Bener, and author Kaya Genç.

2015 Talât Sait Halman Translation Award was presented to Siren İdemen, for her outstanding translation of Georges Perec’s La Boutique Obscure: 124 Rêves, titled in Turkish Karanlık Dükkân: 124 Rüya.

Deadline for submissions for the 2016 Talât Sait Halman Translation Award is 4 November 2016, 17.00 hrs.

Born in Istanbul in 1931, Talât Sait Halman graduated from Robert College in 1951 and received his Master's Degree from Columbia University in 1954. For 30 years he was on the faculties of Columbia University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and New York University, where he also served as chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures for 10 years. In 1998, he founded the Department of Turkish Literature at Bilkent University and served as its chairman. He was also Bilkent's Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Letters.

Turkey's first ever Minister of Culture and later its Ambassador for Cultural Affairs, Halman also held positions as Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations and as a member of the board of directors of PEN American Centre. He was a member of the UNESCO executive board for four years. He served as President of the UNICEF Turkish National Committee since 2003 and President of the İKSV Board of Trustees since 2008 until his passing on 5 December 2014.

Halman has published 75 books and over 3,000 articles, studies, newspaper columns and essays in English and Turkish. 30 of Halman's books are in English. His vast translations include major literary works from classical and modern Turkish literature. Halman was the general editor of the Journal of Turkish Literature, the first and only scholarly English-language journal devoted in its entirety to Turkish literature. Some of Halman's books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Hebrew, Persian, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. In addition to more than 5,000 poem translations and two books of his own poetry published in English, a work of Halman's collected poems entitled Ümit Harmanı (Harvest of Hope) was released by İş Bankası Cultural Publications. Halman has translated the complete sonnets of Shakespeare into Turkish and his last book published before his death was William Shakespeare: Aşk ve Anlatı Şiirleri (Shakespeare's Poems of Love and Narration). With this 4,000 verse book, all of Shakespeare's works have been translated into the Turkish language.

Halman's awards include many literary prizes, honorary doctorates from Boğaziçi University and Ankara University, the UNESCO Medal, Columbia University's “Thornton Wilder Prize” for Translation, the Most Successful Turkish Scholar in the U.S. Award, and the Distinguished Service Award of the Turkish Academy of Sciences and of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Knight Grand Cross (GBE), the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, conferred on him by Queen Elizabeth II.