Research Article


DOI :10.26650/jos.1195960   IUP :10.26650/jos.1195960    Full Text (PDF)

The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”

Ramyar Majidi

This study performs a comparative analysis between the novel Surname by Aziz Nesin (2021), an important writer in contemporary Turkish literature, and the story Sentenced to Death by Ali Mohammad Afghani (2000), one of the leading writers of contemporary Iranian literature. The study discussed how both authors in their works convey the last moments of a death row prisoner, the change and development of human beings over time, and their thoughts on capital punishment. These two writers have similar approaches to the issue of death and human beings yet dealt with these subjects in two different ways in their works. The two common features of these two works are the cultural information they contain.Capital punishment is a type of punishment given to various crimes and has led to debates in both Iranian and Turkish society over the years. In addition, the status and issues of women in society are mentioned in these two authors’ works, despite not being among the main characters. These works criticize violence against women, women’s rights, and the effect of capital punishment on the family. By comparing the works of Aziz Nesin and Ali Mohammad Afghani as two authors who’ve both written work in the field of social reality in their countries and therefore have paid attention to social issues, this article actually compares the thoughts of a large part of both communities regarding these subjects. After examining the works, the study arrives at a comparative conclusion by including the research that has been written on other works from these authors, as well as their perspectives on life.

DOI :10.26650/jos.1195960   IUP :10.26650/jos.1195960    Full Text (PDF)

Ali Muhammed Afgânî’nin “Bir İdam Mahkûmu” ve Aziz Nesin’in “Surnâme” Adlı Eserlerinde İdam Cezası

Ramyar Majidi

Bu çalışmada çağdaş Türk edebiyatının önemli yazarlarından Aziz Nesin’in Surnâme adlı romanı ve çağdaş İran edebiyatının önde gelen yazarlarından Ali Muhammed Afgânî’nin Bir İdam Mahkûmu isimli hikâyesi üzerine karşılaştırmalı bir inceleme yapılmıştır. Her iki yazar ele aldığımız eserlerde bir idam mahkûmunun son anlarını, insanın zaman içerisindeki değişim ve gelişimini ve idam hakkında düşüncelerini eserleri yoluyla aktarmıştır. İdam meselesine ve insana yaklaşımları birbirlerine benzeyen bu iki yazar; eserlerinde bu konuyu edebi olarak iki farklı şekilde ele almıştır. Biri roman diğeri hikâye olan bu iki eserin ortak özelliği kültürel açıdan içerdikleri bilgilerdir. İdam, farklı suçlara verilen bir ceza türü olarak yıllar boyunca hem İran, hem Türk toplumunda tartışmalara yol açmıştır. Ayrıca kadınlar; eserlerin ana karakterleri arasında yer almazsa bile, iki yazarın eserlerinde kadınların toplumdaki durumu ve meselelerine değinilmiş; kadına karşı şiddet, kadın hakları ve idamın aile üzerine etkisi eleştirilmiştir. Ülkelerinde sosyal gerçeklilik alanında eser veren ve bu yüzden toplumsal meselelere dikkat eden her iki yazarın eserlerini karşılaştırarak aslında her iki toplumun büyük bir kısmının bu iki konu üzerine düşüncelerini karşılaştırmış oluruz. Çalışmamızda eserler üzerine incelemeler yaptıktan sonra yazarların başka eserleri ve hayata bakışları üzerine yazılmış olan araştırmaları da dâhil ederek karşılaştırmalı bir sonuca varılmıştır.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is one of the severest types of punishment in many countries’ justice systems in the modern era. As the world’s modern Western countries, especially European countries, have started to suspend capital punishment for certain crimes, people in other countries around the world have also started to ask their governments to change and amend their systems. While this might be easier for non-Muslim countries, suspending different types of executions always not easily accepted by the governments in Islamic countries such as Iran and Türkiye, where the death penalty is an important punishment for specific crimes. One of the most significant parts of the process when Türkiye began its steps toward joining the European Union involved suspending the death penalty for certain crimes. As a result, Türkiye’s government after some time finally accepted preventing this type of punishment. However, despite all the societal pressures in Iran, especially from civil associations and NGOs, the government has yet to accept this compromise especially due to religious reasons. Although recent years have seen Iran’s judicial system begin to decrease the number death sentences handed out to people, this number still appears to be quite high. Due to the fact that no accurate statistics have been provided regarding executions inside Iran and foreign media have presented different statistics in this regard depending on their policies and relations with Iran, These figures have many differences, so is not possible to comment on this. Due to the fact that no accurate statistics have been provided regarding executions inside Iran and foreign media have presented different statistics in this regard depending on their policies and relations with Iran, These figures have many differences, so is not possible to comment on this. It should also be noted that this article does not have any political purpose. So we prefer not to mention the relevant statistics due to their political dimensions. These important challenges in Iran and Türkiye have always been an important aspect of the literature, particularly the social literature. Aziz Nesin in Türkiye and Ali Mohammad Afghani in Iran are both very famous authors for their social literary works. Aziz Nesin is known for his humorous literary works, and his novels and stories are full of social criticism and humor. Surname is one of his unique little-known novels in which he tells the story of Hayri, a normal young barber shop owner who’d been harassed and raped by one of his shop’s neighbors for a long time. After a long period of sexual harassment and feeling bad, Hayri one day decides to get revenge by raping that rapist’s young boy. He regrets the moment he commits the rape, but the child’s shouting causes him to choke the child. Hayri, who’d never committed any other crime during his life, was imprisoned and ultimately sentenced to death. The novel’s overall story is about Hayri’s life and problems in jail and how encountering people who’d committed different types of crimes made deep changes to Hayri’s characteristics. The person who had been fully innocent and normal apart from his revenge starts to become violent after his time spent in jail. The novel is about the developments and changes in a person’s personality. Unlike Aziz Nesin’s novel, Ali Mohammad Afghani’s work is a short story. Ali Mohammad Afghani is one of the most famous social authors in Iran’s literary history and known especially for his novel Madam Ahoo’s Husband. Although Afghani never claimed the same attention in his later works, his first novel strengthened his position on Iran’s literary history. All his works including his first novel have a social substructure that mostly involve women’s place in society and their problems and challenges. His “Mahku ba A’dam” [sentenced to death] is one of a collection of short stories in the book of the same name. This story is the main story of the book and concerns Berage, who man works in a public bath in a small city in Iran. He gets sentenced to death for murdering a person at his workplace, a Loan shark who had made many problems for the city’s people. No one knows the events that occurred between them, and Berage never talks about it except to say he’d killed him because of his crime. However, the hero and main character in Afghani’s short story is not Berage, the person sentenced to death, but his cellmate, Zeki. Zeki is a very famous criminal in the city and had received an extensive sentence for his crimes. Berage needs to pay a punitive amount of money to Surer’s family in order to not be executed for his crime. This type of sentence helps people have a chance at not being executed by the government and at being forgiven by the victim’s family. Once paid, the government reduces the sentence to an extensive prison term. Berage asks to see his only friend in jail before announcing his death sentence, during which Zeki, who’d been a criminal and violent character throughout the whole story, changes in a moment and decides to help his friend by selling his only land and paying for Berage’s reduced sentence. Given that, the two stories’ main common problem and challenge involve the development of people’s character over time. Also, both countries have received a lot of criticism about capital punishment and human rights. These two authors share similar opinions in this regard. The characters in both stories feel utopic about countries and a world without the death penalty and capital punishment. Similarities also exist regarding women’s status and place in Iran and Türkiye, as well as people’s feedback concerning the countries’ death sentences and justice systems. The most important difference between the two works occurs in the stories’ conclusions. Aziz Nesin’s novel finishes with the death of the main character as the last person to be sentenced to death in Türkiye, while Afghani’s story finishes with the freedom of the condemned in addition to the main character’s desire for freedom. This study attempts to compare these two authors’ works with regard to social thoughts concerning capital punishment and its social effects in particular, as well as women’s issues in both countries.


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Citations

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APA

Majidi, R. (2023). The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”. Journal of Oriental Studies, 0(42), 293-312. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960


AMA

Majidi R. The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”. Journal of Oriental Studies. 2023;0(42):293-312. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960


ABNT

Majidi, R. The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”. Journal of Oriental Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 42, p. 293-312, 2023.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Majidi, Ramyar,. 2023. “The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”.” Journal of Oriental Studies 0, no. 42: 293-312. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960


Chicago: Humanities Style

Majidi, Ramyar,. The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”.” Journal of Oriental Studies 0, no. 42 (Jul. 2024): 293-312. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960


Harvard: Australian Style

Majidi, R 2023, 'The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”', Journal of Oriental Studies, vol. 0, no. 42, pp. 293-312, viewed 14 Jul. 2024, https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Majidi, R. (2023) ‘The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”’, Journal of Oriental Studies, 0(42), pp. 293-312. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960 (14 Jul. 2024).


MLA

Majidi, Ramyar,. The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”.” Journal of Oriental Studies, vol. 0, no. 42, 2023, pp. 293-312. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960


Vancouver

Majidi R. The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname”. Journal of Oriental Studies [Internet]. 14 Jul. 2024 [cited 14 Jul. 2024];0(42):293-312. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960 doi: 10.26650/jos.1195960


ISNAD

Majidi, Ramyar. The Death Penalty in Ali Mohammad Afghani’s “ Sentenced To Death “ and Aziz Nesin’s “Surname””. Journal of Oriental Studies 0/42 (Jul. 2024): 293-312. https://doi.org/10.26650/jos.1195960



TIMELINE


Submitted28.10.2022
Accepted08.01.2023
Published Online28.04.2023

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