Children’s Literature in Constitutional Period and Khalil Hamid’s Works for ChildrenBeyhan Kanter
The Constitutional Monarchy period is an era when children’s literature began to develop as a separate field and publications for children heightened. Khalil Hamid, who was a graduate of Darulfunun and a teacher for many years and a writer of stories for children in this period, is also among the authors who contributed to the development of children’s literary culture. Being one of the authors of both the Ottoman and Republican periods, he also wrote popular love novels, stories for children, detective novels, and works related to women’s rights and family life, especially during the years of the Constitutional Monarchy. The author’s writing activities in this period have been seen in magazines, especially for women and children. Although his works on women’s rights and detective novels have been cited as references, no studies have been conducted on his life, literary personality, and works written for children. This article unleased the information about Khalil Hamid’s literary personality, who has not been conducted any academic study related to him. Also, children’s books selected as sample will be examined in terms of pedagogical, aesthetic, thematic, and fictional perspective by considering characteristics of children’s literature in Constitutional Period.
Meşrutiyet Dönemi Çocuk Edebiyati ve Halil Hamid’in Çocuklara Yönelik EserleriBeyhan Kanter
Meşrutiyet Dönemi, çocuk edebiyatının ayrı bir alan olarak gelişmeye ve çocuklara yönelik yayınların artmaya başladığı bir süreci içine alır. Bu dönemde çocuklara yönelik süreli yayınların yanı sıra çocuk şiirleri ve hikâyelerinin de yaygın bir biçimde yazılması, çocuk kitaplarında görsel unsurlara yer verilmesi çocuk kültüründeki yenileşmelerin geniş kitlelere aktarılmasına etki eder. Meşrutiyet Dönemi çocuk edebiyatı külliyatında karşımıza çıkan isimlerden biri de Halil Hamid’dir. Hem Osmanlı hem de Cumhuriyet dönemi yazarları arasında yer alan Halil Hamid, özellikle Meşrutiyet yıllarında popüler aşk romanları, çocuklar için hikâyeler, polisiye romanlar ve kadın hakları, aile hayatı ile ilgili eserler kaleme almıştır. Darülfünun mezunu olan ve uzun yıllar öğretmenlik yapan yazarın Meşrutiyet Dönemi’ndeki yazı faaliyetleri özellikle kadınlara ve çocuklara yönelik dergilerde görülmektedir. Yazarın kadın hakları ile ilgili yazmış olduğu eserleri kadın konusunun ele alındığı çalışmalarda referans olarak gösterilmesine rağmen hayatı, edebî kişiliği ve çocuklara yönelik yazdığı eserleriyle ilgili herhangi bir çalışma yapılmamıştır. Bu makalede, şimdiye kadar hakkında akademik bir çalışma yapılmamış olan Halil Hamid’in edebî kişiliği hakkında bilgi verilecek ve örneklem olarak seçilen çocuk kitapları Meşrutiyet Dönemi çocuk edebiyatının özellikleri göz önünde bulundurularak pedagojik, estetik, tematik ve kurgusal açıdan incelenecektir.
The Constitutional Monarchy period is an era when children’s literature began to develop as a separate field and publications for children heightened. In this period, the fact that children’s poems and stories were commonly written as well as periodical publications for children and that the inclusion of visual elements in children’s books affected those innovations in children’s culture was transferred to large masses. One of the important aspects in this period was that they contained data that could reflect aesthetic, pedagogical, and thematic changes and features that children’s culture and literature had undergone in the historical process. This is due to the fact that works in the type of advice or verse dictionary that had more pedagogical purposes for children were written apart from oral culture products such as lullabies, fairy tales, and rhymes in Ottoman-era Turkish literature. In this context, the Tanzimat Period, which was taken place as a breaking point in Turkish political and social history as well as in Turkish literature, also included innovations that strengthen the relationship between children and literature. Moreover, it is seen that newspapers and magazines for children were important in addition to fictional texts during the Constitutional Period, where newspaper, magazine, and press mobility are of great significance. In addition to the pedagogical attitude, a simple, fun, and immersive narrative was adopted to gain the habit of reading in the works written for children during the Constitutional Period. Khalil Hamid, who wrote children stories in this period, is also among the authors who contributed to the development of children’s literary culture.
As a graduate of Darulfunun and a teacher for many years and being one of the authors of both the Ottoman and Republican periods, Khalil Hamid wrote popular love novels, stories for children, detective novels, and works related to women’s rights and family life, especially during the years of the Constitutional Monarchy. The author’s writing activities in Constitutional Period have been manifested in magazines, especially for women and children. After Republican, as a worker at Ankara Boys’ High School and in Edirne, Tekirdag, he wrote articles about history, literature, women’s rights, and Turkish culture in Kaynak (1933-1951) magazine, Turkish Language (1926-1968) newspaper published in Balıkesir, and Balıkesir Postası and Alkım (1934-–1939) magazine published by Balıkesir High School students. Although he was an author who contributed to the development of Turkish children’s literature by writing stories for children, especially during the Constitutional Era, no studies have been conducted related to his literary personality and works. However, he published different types of works in the Çocuk Duygusu (Children’s Sense), which was one of the magazines of the Constitutional Period. His works in the Çocuk Duygusu (Children’s Sense) published between 1913 and 1914 varied in terms of both genre and theme. Children’s games that have educational and instructive aspects and children can play with their friends, as well as riddles, stories, and simple and concise historical information that can affect the formation of national consciousness in children, were written in this magazine. As basic principles of children’s literature, naturalness and simplicity are also the basis of the works written by Khalil Hamid for children.
As a writer, Khalil Hamid prioritizes activating the sense of curiosity in children by writing his works for children in a form between a story and a novel. The author’s works should be evaluated in the context of the sociological conditions and pedagogical trends of the period. From this perspective, his works can be considered among the popular children’s books that were decently read, immersive, and entertaining in his period. The author’s books for children can be classified in three parts: didactic stories in the form between fairy tales and fables, fantastic subjects fictionalized through a dream, and children’s stories.
Although his works on women’s rights and detective novels have been cited as references, no studies have been conducted on his life, literary personality, and works written for children. This article provides information about Khalil Hamid’s literary personality, with which no academic study has been done related to him. Furthermore, children’s books selected as sample will be examined in terms of pedagogical, aesthetic, thematic, and fictional perspective by considering the characteristics of children’s literature in the aforementioned period.