“I am very thankful to Allah that I am still a child-hearted in a world where life is so wicked, so hursh; where mankind has such a lovelessness and built his existance onto his destructions”
“A writer should hear the pulse of the entire universe. This has no need to place and time. There is no limit to this. We need to be humble and follow the path that Allah has shown us”
” To young ones interested in literature, my first recommendation is to read well and regular. We know that this is the first verse of the Quran to us … “
The actor and writer Bahadır Yenişehirlioğlu, who portrays Tahsin Pasha, one of the Sultan’s most trusted names, in the series of Payitaht Abdulhamid, which sheds light on the last period of the Ottoman Empire; gave an interview about the geting ranking series, Tahsin Pasha character and the unknowns about himself to the readers of Pamukkale Magazine.
Your adventure of authorship started after 28 years of life in practice in law. How did this happen?
Literature is a passion and it is such a passion that you can never stop writing. Your own story moves you to write and this turns into an amazing adventure, and nothing else satisfies you except writing. I am a well-reading person and I owe it to my family. I think if you are reading a lot and if you have a native ability, then this turns into writing soon, and so have I. Writing was something I always wanted, but I think it needs a time to come in sight … Actually we are living our destiny. And my story shaped fatefully. After finishing the Akhisar High School in 1979, when I told my mother who was feeding my paralyzed father that I wanted to go and follow the impressionists’ way; my mother hindered to my decission by saying ‘ Will you be like Van Gogh?’ I took legal education. I graduated from Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Law. However, after years, I decided not to play the role casted to me. I started writing passionately and this became my unique interest.
Actually at the beginning of your companionship with writing lies a tragic story. Can you share this?
My story to start writing is extremely tragic. In the harsh times of 12 September Military Revolution, I could not have told the death of my father to my elder brother in prison, who was on trial with death penalty at that time. My paralyzed father was unable to bear the pain and passed away. Because my brother was innocent. I sent a letter in the mouth of my dad to my brother in prison as if my father was living. This continued for many years. Because my brother was experiencing a great tremor and I could not give him the news of our father’s death. In fact, I have stepped into the authorship by writing these fake letters. I realized this a lot later … My brother eventually lived a 6 year court process, found innocent and came out of prison but unfortunately died in a traffic accident. I was studying law at that time. The process of writing professionally began on the day I started to write my first novel in 2011; others came at a great pace. I felt as if the dam was opened.
What do you feel when you write? What are the effects of writing to your mood?
I am very thankful to Allah that I am still a child-hearted in a world where life is so wicked, so hursh; where mankind has such a lovelessness and built his existance onto his destructions. Writing is incredibly helpful in keeping this pure energy alive inside me all the time. Apart from all the definitions, just being able to remain a child, never to kill a child in my inner self. I am trying to do this in my novels. I am curing myself, patching the fractures together, coloring the uncoloured ones, fixing the cracks and rewriting myself and my life. That’s why the real and hearth-touching books come out. In terms of reinterpretation, survival and sustainability of the culture and for embracing the future, literature is the strongest medium for me.
You have widely read popular novels. What does it mean to write a novel?
I believe that the novels are of very important for forming strong civilizations. No matter what idea a person is deeply bound up with; Radicalism is a terrific poison, and it makes our world more and more poisonous, making our lives worse. It is a terrible destruction to break away from the history of our long-time culture and from its codes; and this is an increasing sadness with each passing day. It is crucial to build up our cultural codes objectively, to blend yesterday with today and transfer it to our younger generation with a universal point of view, in order to prevent this destruction and savagery. I give a great importance to the tremendous power of literature and one of its most powerful production ‘novel’ to achieve this. I am in this endeavor in my novels. I think literature is a matter of conscience. It’s a universal conscience. It’s about being human and related to the existence of Human beings. In the novel ‘Beyaz Usta Siyah Çırak’ the effects of 12 September; in the novel ‘Kerime’ the years of ‘call to pray-less’; In the novel ‘Aşk Cephesi’ Çanakkale (the Dardanelles), In the novel ‘Aşk Çölü’ Yemen (Republic of Yemen), In the novel ‘Kaneviçe’ the Armenian Deportation, In the novel ‘Kara Güneş’ how the 15 July started 40 years ago and happened, and In the forthcoming novel ‘Hünkarım’ about the life of Tahsin Paşa; the effects of this humanity and conscience matters can be seen.
What feeds you when writing?
The author is fed from many things and it is very difficult to describe this. The writer is nourished by whatever defines life and man. First of all, on the basis of the culture, old values and norms those created himself, by taking a universal point of view, the author creates his works with an intellectual stance. It requires strong intuition, empathy, knowledge and a high level of gaze. This is essential for a consistency that we can define as being a perfect human being. Hence an author should hear the pulse of the whole universe. It his independent of place and time. There is no limit to this. It is necessary to be humble and follow the path Allah has given us.
You are also known by your role in the ‘Payitaht Abdulhamid’ series besides your writings. Writing or role playing, which one is ideal for you?
It is not possible for us to distinguish between them. Like chain rings. It is a tremendous wealth for me to be able to exist in two powerful branches of art. I thank Allah for that. But I have to say that literature always excites me more. I think that the only thing left to the future is literary texts.
You are playing the role almost you are living it. What is the secret?
Because I am a candid person … I can not move with mathematical truth. Because I feel the characters in all my cells. I feel like this in writing my novels. I am embroidered with the characters I build. I believe in my “empathy” strength. I did never live my life as a roleplaying. I have an obsession to be as clear as I am. Obviously, it is very important to know characters, to explore their codes, to spend time with them. Fort his, reading is very important. From the moment I enter playing the role that I see fit for my self, I only live that moment and everything other than this disappears. I don’t need to make a great effort for this, because Allah just created me like this, I am one of the people who can find the right areas to reveal the abilities that Allah has given. But I must express that human beings must be ready everytime. He must always have enough knowledge and vocab. There may not be enough time and opportunity for you to say ‘A moment please, let me prepare myself’. For that reason, to read very much and to have an intellectual infrastructure is extremely important.
We know that history has a very important place in your life. Can you talk about Abdülhamit Han for us?
If we want to understand Abdülhamid Khan, if we want our generations and all the people in the world live happy; we must again put the right and justice, common sense, conscience and the things that they contain back into our lives.
We have to spread to the whole world, starting from our own society, that being just and ethical behaviour comes out from adhering strictly the concepts of morality and ustice.
The destruction of the gole of global exploitation actors to transform us; it is indispensable to bring our true history and heroes together with today’s people. We owe it to our own generation and the whole world to reverse this game. Our aims and passions should be not only for our own generation but for all humanity. Just like Abdulhamid Khan did.
Would you be involved in a different historical series if you are offered?
I need to answer a lot of questions in order to talk about this. Who will make it? Whose life will it be about? Which character will I animate? Who will be in the caste? Who will be the director? If I am satisfactory of all these, of course, why not?
Which historical character do you want to act?
I would like to play the life of “Şems of Tabriz”.
Your sentences from your novels are shared too much on the internet. Do you have any concerns like being a “popular writer”?
Being popular and being a media vulture are very different from each other. Also, being popular meritedly and leaving no stone unturned to be populer are very different. I am trying to do good things and be helpful to the people. I don not have any effort other than this idea.. Naturally, if this process makes me more popular, I do not complain about it. Because my lovers are establishing a very respectful and precious relationship with me, as I do.
Your writing ability and your world of thought are a legacy from your family. Your grate-grand father is the Shayk al-Islam giving fatwa to “Print Works”. What do you recommend to the young people interested in the literature?
They should read well and regular. We know that this is the first verse of the Quran to us.