I Present Leon Bahar (Leon Bahar’ı Takdimimdir)

“I Present Leon Bahar; A Poet, A Writer, An Honest Merchant”; a biographic novel by Nurten Yalçın Erüs...
I Present Leon Bahar (Leon Bahar’ı Takdimimdir)

Yuda Leon Bahar from Ankara...  

He adored poetry, yet he couldn’t write one single poem. For him, poetry became a missed target, a lost front.  

For years he wanted to see his name as a writer; relentlessly he sent writings to newspapers. Papers that didn’t grant him even one column, wrote his name on the list of people who couldn’t pay their debts.  

He was always on the road trying to be a good merchant, nevertheless, he was forced to travel to Aşkale just to prove he was an honest merchant.  

He was devoted to his country with passion, he was treated as a traitor.  

This country couldn’t appreciate Leon Bahar and people like him... Let alone appreciating, no one either faced what those people were forced to go through or said they were sorry.  

Leon Bahar’s brief 44 year-life was not enough for him to explain his goal. If his time was enough, maybe he would have found a way to explain that true patriotism came neither with religion, race nor wealth, but with heart.  

He would write in his own country which he was in love with, without caring that he was treated as a stranger, without being offended...  

He would first write of justice. He would say “Justice for all, always.” Then he would write of love. Without a doubt, he would write of love the most. (From the back cover of the book; translated by Janet Mitrani) 


The biographic novel “I Present Leon Bahar (Leon Bahar’ı Takdimimdir)” based on the letters Leon Bahar sent from exile, is published from Kırmızı Kedi Publishing, on the anniversary of the Wealth Tax. The Wealth Tax was issued on November 11th, 1942, aiming to provide monetary resources to the government during the Second World War, imposed on mostly the non-Muslim citizens of Turkey.  

The novel is the heartrending story of the haberdasher Leon Bahar, one of the victims of the Wealth Tax, who was exiled to Aşkale and Sivrihisar to work for his debts in labor camps. In the novel, the writer Nurten Yalçın Erüs is telling us about the details of camp and exile time extensively, based on a private archive. 

The novel can also be purchased from Gözlem Kitap and through the website http://www.gozlemkitap.com 

Related News