1980s… redhouse… international youth library…
In the beginning of 1979, I met the director of Redhouse Press William A. Edmonds, the publication department of the American Board of the Near East Mission in Turkey. “How can I help you?” Mr. Edmonds said…
In fact, I already had the diploma from a university and received all the qualifications to work as a mechanical engineer which was a valuable asset to start a life in Turkey at that time; though less, it still is. But, what I wanted was different. It didn’t take me long to speak out loud what I wanted in life: “I want to make children’s books!” This was the reply I gave to Mr. Edmonds, who got the message and did everything to help me to realize my dream.
He published my first book “Pan and His Flower” in 1980. It received the Picture Book Award given by a jury of children, organized by the Association of Librarians. During the award ceremony, I met Prof. Meral Alpay, who initiated the award and the book exhibition accompanying the award. She was the second person after Mr. Edmonds, who changed my life.
I founded Mavibulut with the purpose of being the best children’s publisher in Turkey (It was also the first in Turkey).
I worked as an advisor to a children’s magazine named “Çocukça” published by Gelişim Publishing House during 1985-86.
I translated and published “the Little Prince” for the first time with a contract in Turkey.
I started writing articles on children’s literature in Cumhuriyet newspaper.
I got my MA in Istanbul University, Librarianship Department.
My first son, Acar was born in 1987.
1984… International Youth library in Munich…
I received a three month scholarship from the International Youth Library in Munich and spent there 3 months starting with August of 1984.
During my stay in Munich International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) I was asked to make the cover picture for the quarterly bulletin of the library (see below left). I gathered all the popular story book characters including Mickey Mouse, Puss in Boots, and from the guards in Alice to Sendak’s Max who worked together to improve the library.
I had the chance to see what was going on in the world regarding children’s literature. I read articles and good books from all over the world. It was an inspiring period which opened my eyes and my mind. At the end, I knew what I wanted to do when I went back to Turkey.