A DURKHEIMIAN APPROACH TO THE THEME OF SUICIDE IN AYLA KUTLU'S NOVELS

Gürhan ÇOPUR

Ayla Kutlu became an important author in Turkish literature after 1980 with her novels and stories. Kutlu, fictionalizes her works in a multi-layered structure by intertwining social and individual elements in her novels. Kutlu's novels focus on inner world of individuals taking part in the social events related to religion, beliefs, gender roles, economic life, customs and conventions of the community they live in. In her novels, the presented social events reflect the political and social atmosphere of Turkey, where protagonists are portrayed in their worldly pursuits. In that sense, the author, who is not indifferent to social issues and conditions of the period, makes her own interpretation of events in almost all her works, which makes them suitable for sociological and psychological analysis. In her novels, suicidal tendency of the characters, who are not able to adapt to the conditions they are depicted in, become excluded and marginalized. Emile Durkheim, who is mainly interested in the suicide phenomenon, regards society as a sociological laboratory mainly responsible for the psychological development of the individual. According to Durkheimian, suicide can be defined as an act in which social phenomena mark individual psychology. Emile Durkheim's theory of suicide is based on experienced cases, which he categorizes according to social causes as: “Egoistic suicide”, “Altruistic suicide”, and “Anomic suicide”. Among the suicide types that Durkheim has classified and distinguished according to their sociological dimensions, “Selfish suicide” cases observed in Ayla Kutlu's novels will be in the center of our study. In our analysis, the actions of the characters who commit/attempt suicide in Ayla Kutlu's “Cadı Ağacı”, “Ateş Üstünde Yürümek” “Kadın Destanı” and “Asi… Asi” novels will be examined within the framework of Emile Durkheim's suicide theory.

Keywords: Ayla Kutlu, Suicide, Emile Durkheim, Novel, Sociology