Assos. Prof.Yavuz Selim Karakışla
Hist 111, Section 01
9 December 2001
MOR SALKIMLI EV
Halide Edib Adıvar represents us her life and the historical events, which took place during her lifetime, in her book “Mor Salkımlı Ev”, published in 1996. Halide Edib starts telling her story from the mor salkımlı ev, which was the house she had been born in Besiktas, Istanbul. Through the end of the story, she tells us the effects of this house over her life.
Halide Edib has prepared her story in two parts and in the first part, she has told about the significant events such as her marriage, her prior voyage abroad and her collage life, in the chapters she numbered.
In the first chapter, the author, talks about her childhood, which is, not clear enough to be told by the first mouth. In this chapter, we can get information about the general characters of the author, her familyand other people who were in her life.
“Eyüpsultan’lı Nakiye Hanım”, who is Halide Edib’s grandmother, has a precious role in her life. Halide Edib can hardly remember her mother Bedrifem’s death when she was 3 or 4 years old. Her father’s polygamy marriage lead Halide Edib to change several houses and this affected her in a bad way. Her lifestyle or these different women, in different homes, jealousy, competition and the warmness she rarely felt made her feel as if everyone laughed at her. That’s why she spent most of her childhood with her grandmother.
The first love affair she survived took place during the period she stayed in her father’s house in Yıldız.
In the second chapter of the book, the author starts telling the rest of her own story which she remembers better her own. In this part, Halide Edib frequently tells us about her stepsister Mahmure, who was born from the prior marriage of her mother with Ali Şamil Pasa. Mahmure is also an effective character in Halide Edib’s life. In this chapter readers can easily predict that Halide Edib has a strong religious belief.
In the third chapter, she tells us about their temporary house in Uskudar and in the fourth chapter she tells us their return to Mor Salkımlı Ev. During this period Halide Edib take lessons from the tutors coming to their house. Her father, Edip Bey wants his daughter to grow up with English culture and he makes her daughter’s registration in Uskudar American Girls College but she temporarily leaves college because of her age, then after a while turns back to Uskudar American Girls College. Her college life is told in the fifth chapter. She fast learns foreign language and her interest in poetry and literature occurs in this period. She reads various religious books and various authors’ books; this extends her literal perspective and improves her knowledge.
Within a new chapter, Halide Edib starts writing about her marriage life. She marries to Sakih Zeki -her math’s tutor- and begins to live in a house in Sultantepesi the which had been given by Halide Edib’s father with Salih Zeki’s son. In those years Halide Edib tried to be a good housewife while trying to carry out her writing studies. Among these, she deals with eastern poetry and French literature, too. In this period, she gave birth to her first son Ayetullah and 16 months later her second son Zeki.
Halide Edib tells us the happiness occurred with the “declaration of legitimacy” in the seventh chapter. At that time, she begins to be threatened by letters because of her essays. These letters makes her feel mixed emotions caused by fear and courage. After the event of “31st March”, she is put in the “Black List” because of her essays and obligatorily escapes to Egypt with her sons Ayetullah and Zeki. She tells her first voyage abroad in the eighth chapter with her details. After surviving plenty of bed events such as the illness of her son, she leaves for England with the invitation of her friend Isabel Fry. There, she visits some places such as parlement building and universities meanwhile foces some difficulties such as being short of money.
After 1909, she returns to Istanbul and this is told in the ninth chapter. In this period, Halide Edib continues her writing and densely studied over pedagogy and primarily teaches in Darulmuallimat teachers school and at “idadi” for five years. She also gets divorced in this period, as her husband wants to marry a second woman. Halide Edib is strongly against polygamy. That’s why she cannot accept this will of her husband.
In the tenth chapter, she tells us about the political chaos in the country, disturibution of assembly and establishment of a new cabinet. Furthermore, she informs us about the entrance of our country to the Balkan War, incident of Babiâli, the fall of Edirne and its being taken back by the Turkish army in 1913. ın this period she works at hospitals. These she survived have given her the chance to know different types of people. Between the years1913 and 1914, she loses her grandmother, Haminne and her death considerably affects Halide Edib. Through the end of 1914, she goes the Syria and Arabian land as a teacher. They do some research here and plan to establish teaching schools and lice’s not only for girls but especially include girls. As aresult of real hard work a school is founded in Sam, in Syria and Halide Edib sacrifices a let during the period of the set up this school. The schools Halide Edib and her friends founded in these places are more likely to educate soon these schools starts to be beneficial. Especially, plays prepared by children makes Halide Edib very happy. They also do what they have planned and visit lots of new places in those foreign lands. After achieving most of those they planned in order to improve education, Halide Edib says good-bye to Syria and Arabia.
Halide Edib Adıvar, tells us both her interesting life which everyone is given the chance to survive and the historical events between the years 1884 (it is predicted that she was born in) and 1920. To tell the truth I would like to find to events after her return to Istanbul from Arabia and Syria in this book because in the pre-research I made about Halide Edib before I started to read to this book, her times as a soldier and speech at Sultanahmet Square, took my attention. On the other hand Mor Salkımlı Ev is a pretty well written book of her life till the year 1920. This memorial of Halide Edib Adıvar has a very good introduction part and this takes the great attention of the readers, makes them wonder. Especially, the place where Halide Edib has lived and the people, she knew are exaggerated and took too much place in the book but still the book is interesting. Moreover, in the whole memorial book, she draws out rough description of the characters with giving short or detailed information. On the other hand, I think that the new generation, who will need the book, will probably have difficulties with the language, just like me. The glossary I came across nearly in all pages took my attention out of Halide Edib’s fluent story. This will be the same for most of the readers except those who are interested in old words most of which are out of use at the moment. I must add that those words expanded my knowledge. There aren’t only meanings in glossaries but also some information about important authors, their books, political characters and events. Moreover, I read about Yusuf Akçıra, Emrullah Efendi and others for the first time although they are precious people for the field I am studying at and also politics by the help of that extra information.
Halide Edib does not give direct informaton about her own character in her history instead she gives some evidence about her basic properties by explaining her reactions against specific events throughout the story. Her sensitiveness even against animals and her religious belief, which she talks about from time to time, shows us her sensitivity. Any reader can also predict the importance of equality for her from the point that she’s strongly against polygamy.
It disturbed not being able to find any information or description about her husband Salih Zeki although there are really detailed descriptions of all of the important people in her life. Halide Edib has written just a little thing about her husband in the whole history. I must also admit that I wondered where her sons stayed during the period Halide Edib got ill and than went to Syria and Arabia.
Halide Edib tells about the historical events of her time without making the reader bored. I had prejudice about this but Halide Edib keeps the line of history and the story very well with a knowledge achieved through long years. Learning significant historical events such as the “declaration of legitimacy” from history books is much more boring than reading from the tellers who have survived the events, so it has given me great delight to learn about history in such a nice story.
While reading a book, I get lost between word sand sentences and page; at those time finding pictures put rarely between the chapters gives relief. It made me happy to find those illustrations in Halide Edib’s book, too. Furthermore, going to those old times told in the story by the help of old photographs, was really effective.
As a person who is reading Halide Edib’s book for the first time I was really affected by her literal love, reading love, her goals. She has achieved in spite of all the difficulties she met in her time and her creation of a new, strong type of a woman. Adıvar’s being a good housewife and a sacrificing mother, taking role in different social facilities, writing books on political or social in different languages andbecoming the most famous Turkish writer foreign countries doubled my ambiance for the author. In my opinion it is not usual to see many Turkish women who have survived such many things and done such important establishments in history.
Halide Edib was “the rebel girl” of the republican according to the information I had got from my family and teachers but I cannot say that I could find this format of Halide Edib in the book called Mor Salkımlı Ev. I think this is because the rebellion character of Halide Edib occurs in the republic Ear burt she gives up telling her memoirs before war starts.
from time to time it is observed that Mor Salkımlı Ev is an information book. In this book, Halide Edib tells us in which period of her life she had written some of her books such as Yeni Turan, Sinekli Bakkal, etc. she continues her writings in spite of her son’s illnesses and her sleeplessness. This shows out her big love and great interest in literature. I’d told that the historical events were represented in the book without boring the reader. I can give the incident of Babiâli and her short explanation as an evidence for this. (Page 194-195) Members of the Committee of union and Progress, come to Babiâli in order to force Kamil Pasa to retire, at this time two of the members of the Committee of union and Progress excited -Mustafa Necip and Yakup Cemil- sets a fire; Mehmet Sevket Pasa’s cabinet comes to the government and Edirne falls down. All these events are told in “Mor Salkımlı Ev” by Halide Edib in a short but an effective way. On the other hand I must admit that some important incidents such as the declaration of registration should have been explained with more details. (Just like it was in Jon Turks) I think it would be better if the work carried out just before the “declaration of monarchy” and its results were told expandedly. It is told in chapter eleven (in which the writer talks about the years 1913-1914) that members of the Commiteeof union and Progress loses their beneficial attempts in their in their home countries. With the help of their experiences, they were made up the foundation for basic revolutions and the sophisticated of these were in the army and finance, furthermore, halide Edib doesn’t mention about any improvements on this subject. This can be an individual interest of mine I would like to find a paragraph at least explaining the changes in the army and finance. Meanwhile, I would like to point of something about the incident of 31st March and Halide Edib’s entering into the black list. Halide Edib tells that she has done some writing studies at that period, but it is nor properly clear why she was found quality in the book according to me. I had some information about her essays defending women rights and these had distributed the strict groups but I couldn’t guess what important event had caused her escape to Egypt. In my opinion, she should have explained more clearly. By this way we could also learn her point of view. In the meantime, I wonn’t ignore another point which takes my attention and makes out a question mark in my mind: In the part which talks about the balkan war, her returns to the country is considered as her return to Turkey, moreover. Turkey’s entrance to the Balkan war is not the correctexpression for that time . I mean, I think Turkey is not the right name to use.
Moreover, I had expected to find more about feminism in the book, but Halide Edib doesn’t obviously talk about this subject at all. Still, she mentions strictly that she is a strong defender of women rights andequality between men and women.
As I have mentioned before the book is more likely to be an information book but as the period talked about doesn’t content the time when Halide Edib was active, it becomes difficult to put the book in any historical period or historical events. Since, Halide Edib isn’t included in the events told individually, she has just informed as roughly and doesn’t give any details. Naturally, there is not much to commandabout these shortly explained historical incidents
Actually, I think that this piece of writing written by Selim İleri about Halide Edib’s book is good enough to summarize the book and catch the readers attention.
“ Mor Salkımlı Ev “ is a unique memorial book, which makes us understand
and survive the soul (climate) of our recent past.
I think that it is not possible for every author to understand and explain the soul climate of history, Halide Edib using an expert in her field, mustn’t have worked hard in order to achieve this. The time, peopleand the place told in the story makes us feel all the seasons of this climate with all this temperature which gets higher and lower from time to time.
Finally, Halide Edib represents us a great part of her historical knowledge using her literal language fluently. That’s whay the book is one of the unique examples which stends a good source of information for the new generation about their own past without making them bored.