Gürhan ÇOPUR

The cultural transformation and conflicts of a street and its inhabitants are told through space-human interaction in Bahaeddin Özkişi’s novel “Sokakta” (On the Street). In that period, which coincided with the first years of the Republic, the street-level manifestation of the innovation movements and the conflict between the old and the new come to the fore. The novel focuses on the conflict between those who remained distant from the modernization movements that the society had experienced/witnessed since the Edict of Gülhane on the grounds that it harmed spirituality, on the one hand, and the novel’s main characters who regarded innovation as a vital necessity, on the other hand. The novel’s subject that develops around the protagonist who was a police superintendent and was born in the neighbourhood covers a period of thirty years. Having the characteristics of a detective novel in view of the progression of dramatic action and the adventure of the protagonist, the story continues with the events that develop after the protagonist returns to his old street due to a murder investigation. The dialectic aspect of space-human interaction is striking in the novel, which describes social values and corruption through strong metaphors based on space and people. Almost all the main characters emerging in the novel are developed within a dominant space and they are identified with that space. Each of these anonymous main characters is like a part, an ontological mirror of the space they occupy. This stands out as an element that enriches the symbolic plane of the novel. Feeding the conflicts that create the dramatic action of the work, these elements depict the revolutions taking place in the first years of the Republic and the projections of the reform movements on social life from the viewpoint of a street. The present study will examine the novel “Sokakta” in the context of space-human relationship and analyse the projections of the space on the protagonist, the friend who is assumed a suspect and Küçük Bey.

Keywords: Space, Cultural Transformation, Detective Novel, Bahaeddin Özkişi, Sokakta