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A beautiful person passed away. Goodbye Celil Oker!

Today I woke up to learn that dear Celil hoca has passed away. He had been under treatment for more than a year and I was hearing he had shown signs of recovery but there comes the sad news. After Galip hoca, another loss that is hard to recover from. A loss at several lives: From personal to national. He was already a well-known crime fiction writer (You can also his Goodreads profile). As far as I know, he never became as popular as some other writers like Ahmet Ümit but he had loyal and steady followership and his novels were already translated to several languages. I had fallen in love with his early novels, which were shorter and linguistically minimalist but I had loved all his novels anyway. More will probably be written about this literary talents but here I will follow a personal track.

The first time I met him, as a TA and a Ph.D. student, I did not even know he was an author.

16 March 2005. Our then dean Aydın Uğur, me and Celil Oker. İstanbul Bilgi University Kuştepe Campus.

He was one of the most down to earth persons I ever knew.

The photo should be before 2011. İstanbul Bilgi University Santral Campus

Then I read his novels. I imitated his main protagonist Remzi Ünal and drank Nescafe for a while (!). His first novel I read is about a fictional murder case in the sociology department at Boğaziçi University (where I graduated).  Remzi Ünal embodies the reality. No clear cut evidence. Follows the whims. Enters into the ambiguity of Turkish everyday life.

He never refused our interview calls. Here at BJK TV studios before a SosyalKafa interview. 20 December 2011.
“How many more photos will you take Erkan?” 12 December 2016.
Oh he was such a loyal Beşiktaş fan. I am glad we made it to a game at İnönü Stadium. 21 September 2008.
30 July 2016. From a wedding.
6 October 2017. Enjoying one of the staff meetings.
We will always remember him wandering in the offices and corridors, sometimes loudly asking how we are doing…
Today, as I get the sad news, I wear the same shirt

 

Our current dean and many senior faculty members all together…
We are probably at a jury meeting. This is the only photo I am not sure if I had taken it.

In Sen Ölürsün Ben Yaşarım, one of the villains is named after me. Thanks to him, a literary character has my name.  When I was writing this I remembered my amateurish interview with him in 2007 for our literary fanzine. For those readers in Turkish here is the link.

Oh dear Celil hoca, rest in peace. We will really but really miss you…

Oh dear Celil Hoca. We will miss you so much!

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