Turkey laughing

Article published on July 18, 2007
community published
Article published on July 18, 2007
Thanks to Mirada linEa presents An interview to the editors of the magazine Leman by Elettra Stamboulis, part III This is the result of an interview with one of the founders of the turkish magazine Leman, Mehmet Çağçağ, and somehow also to another master of the same magazine, Tuncay Akgün.
I thought it would be unuseful to present also questions as far as from the answers you can understand the contest. Reading, you will see it is the story of a comics magazine, but at the same time it offers a view of turkish society in the last years. Check also the part I and II. Don't forget the video interview.

Erdoğan Vs. Leman

ramize.gif Recently Tayyip Erdoğan, the prime minister, opened a lawsuit against me. As the owner of the magazine 13 000 euros and as the caricaturist 13 000 euros , total 26 000 euros. Conservatives are allergic to criticism. This is the 4th lawsuit to the caricatures from the prime minister. The legend magazine Gırgır had a legend editor that all Turkey knows: Oğuz Aral. He once said “God saves the drunks and the caricaturists”. Untill now of course there has been caricaturists that god could not save . The period during military takeover in September 12, 1980, a caricaturist killed by fachists. Two people from our crew have been sentenced to stay in prison, Güneri has been put into prison, Tuncay lived a fugitive life for 15 years.

Leman is distributed in Germany too but the new generation’s turkish cannot understand us. We use a very deep, poetic and street language . Some of the words can’t even be understood by the young people here. At one of the university panel discussions (which we participate often) , one of the readers talked to the youngest caricaturist among us : “ you are using too many old turkish and ottoman words, I can’t understand it sometimes” So it’s impossible to understand for young people in Germany. They can possibly enjoy Leman translated into german. On the other hand there are some young turkish-german people who regularly read Leman and come visit us. They are mostly rappers like: Ceza, Panzer Fuat, Turbo, Ayben...These young people are from the new generation from Germany... One of our caricaturists draw their biographies in Leman.

Caricaturists are free to form their style for drawing. Interference is rare. But caricaturists are humorists first, drawing comes second for them. They see drawing as a tool to express what they want to tell. They are trying to develop a new language, style of their own. The resemblances are common among styles because there is a lot of interaction . They work side by side, all together, like they work in an atelier. That is a tradition of us. Only the masters and the ones over 40 years old send their work through the internet.

The humour magazines I know are : Mad, U Comix, Eco de savanes, Harakiri, Strapazin, Pontiki, Charlie Hebdo, Fluide Classical, Linus, Metal Hurlant. We have a little of all these, but the least Mad, mostly Harakiri and a little Charlie Hebdo. English Viz has inspired us with it’s characters too. For example there was Altan in Linus, if he lived in Turkey, we would definitely had him in Leman. It would be pleasure to have Manara drawing stories like “will continue next week”. There are many Manara fans here. I have seen his work in an exhibition in Germany (or Austria, I don’t remember).

tuncay.gif In my world and my style of humour, one of the caricaturists that impressed me when I was young, was Reiser. When I grew older and mature, I was impressed by Wolinski. Two french humourists... Vullemin hits me by his expressionism.

Tuncay eats alittle, I eat a lot. Tuncay is slow hardworker, I am fast hardworker. Tuncay is cautious, I take the risks. Tuncay can’t sit and work, Once I sit and start to work I can’t get up. Tuncay talks little, I talk a lot, Güneri talks 5 times more than both of us. Tuncay and I, we both don’t wake up before the noon. We both prefer home made food, we both hate fast food. We like to have our holidays in the same places, we like the same cafes . We both have been to Italy before but not together at the same time.

The end