Throughout Turkey’s history, a great number of intellectuals lost their lives in the month of January. The first month of 2016 is no exception. This month we could not help but remember the life of a great name who left this world quietly but left a very deep imprint in our intellectual life. Although Tahsin Yücel’s passing found humble mainstream media coverage,we wanted to touch upon the importance of his life’s work.
Tahsin Yücel was born in 1933 in Kahramanmaraş. He graduated from Galatasaray High School and studied at the Istanbul University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of French Language and Literature. He worked at Varlik Publishing House and his first book Flying Saucers came out from the same publisher. Yücel who did scholarly work on semiotics in Paris was a Professor at the Istanbul University; he became one of the earliest researchers outside of France who applied Constructivism on linguistics. As a very prominent translator, he translated over seventy works from French into Turkish.
Tahsin Yücel holds the Azra Erhat Superior Translation Award, Yunus Nadi Novel Award, and Ömer Asım Aksoy award as well as French Government Palmes Académiques Legion Commandeur.