The Novel “Gulyabani” was Translated into English: Who is Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar?

Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar's cult book "Gulyabani" was translated into English by Hande Eagle. So who is Gürpınar? Why is it important in Turkish literature?

By David Foster Published on 2 Nisan 2024 : 14:52.
The Novel “Gulyabani” was Translated into English: Who is Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar?

Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar, (b. 17 August 1864, Istanbul Ayaspaşa, d. 8 March 1944, Istanbul Heybeliada) is a novel, theater, and story writer and has produced 54 works in the genres of novels, plays, stories, criticism, memoirs, letters, poems, and translations.

Gulyabani, one of Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar's unforgettable works, was translated into English by Hande Eagle. The book was published by the Canadian publishing house Translation Attached.

The novel Gulyabani by Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar, one of the classic writers of Turkish literature, was first published in 1913; He stood out with his skillful handling of the horror and absurd comedy genres. The novel has an important place in Turkish popular culture.

Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar (August 17, 1864 – March 8, 1944) was a Turkish writer, civil servant, and politician. Born in Istanbul, Gürpınar was the son of a family close to the Ottoman court. Having lost his mother at an early age, he was sent to Crete where his father was an Ottoman civil servant. 

Translation Attached made the following statements in its announcement on social media:

“We are excited to announce that Turkish author Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar's horror and comedy novel Ghoulyabânî, which was first published in Istanbul in 1913, is now available in English!”

Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar was born in Istanbul in 1864. His father, Mehmet Sait Pasha, was captured along with Gazi Osman Pasha in the defense of Pleven. He also served as the sultan's aide for a while. He died while he was the commander of the Erzurum fortified position.

Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar lost his mother when he was only three years old. He first started school in Crete, where his father was working. He returned to Istanbul when he was six years old. He started living in his grandmother and aunt's mansion in Istanbul.

In 1878, he transferred to the Civil Service School, which trained civil servants for the Ottoman palace. When he was in the second grade at Mulkiye, he had to leave school because he got sick. Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar, who took French lessons, was self-taught.

He moved to Heybeliada, which has an important place in his biography, in 1912. He lived in the mansion he had built on the island with his aunt, his nephew, and his childhood friend, Miralay Hulûsi Bey.

Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar also served as a member of parliament. He served as a member of parliament from Kütahya in the 5th and 6th terms of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. He was nominated by CHP in the 7th term but did not win.

In 1908, after the declaration of the 2nd Constitutional Monarchy, Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar, together with Ahmet Rasim, published a humor newspaper called Boğaz İle Güllâbi. This newspaper was published twice a week, a total of thirty-six issues. Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar was taken to court because of this newspaper. Although he was acquitted, the newspaper was closed.