Welcome: Guest

Contemporary Perspectives on Translation in Turkey

Author/Editor: Daldeniz, Elif

Year of publication: 2010

Place of Publication & Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Publisher URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g921006690

ISBN/ISSN: 1751-2921 (electronic) 1478-1700 (paper)

Publication blurb:

This special issue of the journal Translation Studies includes a number of articles that deal with translation in Turkey.

Introduction: Translation, modernity and its dissidents: Turkey as a “republic of translation”, by Elif Daldeniz

Exile as translation and transformation in early Republican Turkey, by Özlem Berk Albachten

Between 1933 and 1945, hundreds of German-speaking academics who had to leave their posts and their countries under the Nazi regime went to Turkey to work at Istanbul University and later at other institutions. This paper looks at this unique exilic experience from a translational perspective and sheds light on the various translation processes operational during the eacutemigreacute professors’ time in Turkey. It examines the professors’ contribution to Turkish scientific and legal terminology, their involvement in literary translations and the use of translation in their classrooms. The paper argues that Istanbul and Ankara in the 1930s and 1940s formed a singular setting for translation that was linguistic, cultural and culture-changing. In these multicultural and multilingual spaces, translation in both its literal and metaphorical sense transformed all the subjects involved in the encounter.

Reflections of the image of Jean-Paul Sartre in the Turkish intellectual milieu through translation, by Ayşenaz Koş

When a philosophical theory moves across cultural and linguistic boundaries, it makes a new place for itself in a new territory and language. In this cultural transfer, translation plays a crucial role, since it is by means of translation that a theoretical text travels. Translation, as a form of “rewriting”, reflects the attitudes of the target culture towards the imported theory, yet the close relationship between translation and the migration of intellectual movements is often overlooked. This study, which aims to increase awareness of translation’s role in the migration of theories, deals with the emigration of existentialist philosophy to Turkey via translation. It presents an account of the way in which the multifaceted figure of Jean-Paul Sartre was transferred to the Turkish intellectual milieu, and explores the correlations between the reception of Sartre and the migration of existentialism into Turkey.

Scouting the borders of translation: Pseudotranslation, concealed translations and authorship in twentieth-centrury Turkey, by Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar 

This paper addresses a relatively little explored area of Turkish literary translation history and sets out to contextualize a series of alternative translation practices previously expressed as “marginal” forms of translation. These practices are instances of textual production that can be classified neither as translation proper nor as indigenous creation: they are mainly concealed translation and pseudotranslations. The study argues that marginal forms of translation offer information regarding the literary habitus of readers in Turkey, and suggests that the second half of the twentieth century saw a transformation in this habitus which can be traced through the shifts in the use and presentation of concealed translations and pseudotranslations. After providing a historical overview of the use of such translations as a cultural and commercial tool by Turkish writers and publishers, the paper discusses two recent cases which defy established perceptions about pseudotranslations.

Urban planning in Turkey as a process of translation, by Nihal Ekin Erkan 

There are several ways to define urban planning and to describe the diffusion of modern urban planning throughout the world. This article proposes a further way of describing this phenomenon by discussing the development of modern urban planning in Turkey as a process of translation. Modernization in Turkey has been experienced as a process of transfer of Western European models, in which interlingual translation too has served as a tool. However, the concept of translation is used here not only due to the existence of acts of translating within this process: the conception of translation as an intricate process involving difference and transformation, as proposed by contemporary translation studies, is a valuable analytical tool to analyze the transfer of urban planning more generally into the Ottoman and Turkish context. This paper thus uses a translation studies perspective to examine some of the agents and texts that helped form the field of modern urban planning in Turkey in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Impossible optimisms? Translating Turkish modernities into the Meta-terranean, by Christopher Larkosh 

This essay explores the potential for both transcultural thinking and methodological diversity in translation studies through a discussion of three twentieth-century Turkish cultural figures: national leader Mustafa Kemal Atatuumlrk, revolutionary poet Nacirczım Hikmet and openly gay-identified filmmaker Ferzan Oumlzpetek. In drawing out and reexamining the possible textual points of communication that link them, as well as the divergent models of modernity, masculinity, linguistic invention and creativity that set them apart, the discussion thus reengages with the ever-present possibility for a decentered, multiple and migrant “Meta-terranean” translational culture: one that complicates present understandings of fixed territorial divisions, gender identities, and linguistic zones and renews the potential for alternative conduits for communication across space, time and cultural difference.

Islamic publishing houses in transformation: The role of translation, by Elif Daldeniz

Translating Western classics into Turkish was always, both in the Ottoman Empire and in the Turkish Republic, closely linked with the idea of progress. Islamic publishers, which previously refrained from publishing translations of these classics, seem now to have discovered them. This article discusses the so-called “ideological distortions” found in these translations and debated in the Turkish press in 2006. It is argued that the movement of Islamic publishers from peripheral to central positions in the Turkish publishing market left traces not only in their publication lists, but also in their strategies of translating Western classical works - strategies that are not restricted to Islamic domestication. The article shows that source-text-oriented translations, too, can serve the expansion of the hegemony of Islamic circles in Turkish society.

Whose 'modernity' is it anyway? Translation in the web-based natural-birth movement in Turkey, by Şebnem Susam-Sarajeva 

This article presents a case study of text production at the intersection of maternity care services and medical ethics. It examines the role of translation in web-based material promoting non-medicalized, natural birth in Turkey, and has three main objectives: to demonstrate the variety of the media and mediators through which new ideas travel; to investigate what “modernity” might entail in diverse, often contentious contexts; and to highlight the fuzzy boundaries of translation as used in cyberactivism. The study picks up certain themes, such as the foreign, power, choice and time, to explicate the context and translational decisions underlying the text production on a website promoting natural birth. It also points out some incongruities and anachronisms in relation to “modernity” and birth within Turkey in order to locate the text production at hand within its real-life context.