Poets from five Continents came together at the 52nd “Struga Poetry Evening “between the dates of 22nd to 28 August 2013 at Struga city of Macedonia by the shores of Lake Ohrid, which is famous for its great beauty.
52 poets from different countries attended the event, with the tenth time participating Abdullah Satoğlu and Yahya Akengin from Turkey, whom were invited this time by the organizing committee as “Guests of Honour”.
Earlier in 1974, At Struga Poetry Evenings, the “Golden Wreath Award” winner Fazil Husnu Dağlarca and other selected poets like, Mehmet Çınarlı, , İlhan Geçer, Feyzi Halıcı, Coşkun Ertepınar, Ahmet Tufan Şentürk, Mustafa Necati Karaer, Nurettin Özdemir, Yavuz Bülent Bakiler, Ataol Behramoğlu and Yahya Akengin participants have represented our country.
The event which was organized by a committee of poets supported by UNESCO and the Macedonian Ministry of Culture, have planned a reception first day of the event, which was held at Drim Hotel’s garden, poets from all over the world attended the reception, where made acquainted with each other.
In the evening, near Drim Bridge at the “Poetry House” Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska’nın started the evening with the opening speech. Poets from ten countries have recited poetry that was translated into English and Macedonian to the audience. Poet Abdullah Satoğlu from Turkey presented a poem by the name” You and Istanbul. Satoğlu’s lyrical and nostalgic poem was admired with loud cheers and stir, especially by the Turkish audience that attended the event.
In accordance with the program, the next day at the Kaliştina Struga monastery, with the participation of all the guest poets a presentation of a poem was made, in the evening the Mexican poet Jose Emilio Pacheco was presented with this year’s “Golden Wreath Award” at Ayasofya Museum in Ohrid,. This building is one of the religious centers of Macedonia, which was a church first, then converted into a mosque for a short period of time, and then was used as a church again, currently serves as a museum.
The third day of the event, poet Yahya Akengin was invited as “Guest of Honor” and made the introduction of his book “Bahtın Şiiri” (Luck Poetry) that was published by the organizing committee.
After a long spaeach that was given by Poet, writer and critic Esat Bayram how translated the book from Tukish to Macedonian, poet Yahya Akengin Thanked the organizing committee for inviting him and their efforts to publish his work , and praised the services and contribution the festival adds to the Turkish, Macedonian and world poetry. At the same time .Dr. Numan Aruç Makdonya Specialist Professor of Political History of the Academy of Sciences of Turkish and Islamic Civilizations, translated the speech to the audience.
The Last event of Struga Poetry Evenings was held at Drim Bridge by Ohrid lake, in August 25th, All country flags of participating poets was raised, a show of lights, fireworks, flowers, and small boats on the river was made with extremely large space equipped with rich colors.
First Chairman of the Committee Slave Gorgo Dimovski presented the award winning Mexican poet Jose Emilio Pacheco with the “Golden Wreath Award”, then all the foreign poets and guest of honor poet Yahya Akengin presented their poems.
The next day After the program ended, Struga continued, with Abdullah Satoğlu and Yahya Akengin and a group of poets in Kumanova’ya, they recited poetry through the night, followed by an exclusive audience of poets viewed with great interest.
August 27th was the last day of the event. We visited Skopje, located 30 km from Struga. A natural wonder of the famous makta Kalyonu in Skopje and from there the next morning we returned to our country by plane…
Just want to express that in addition of gaining new poet friends from all around the world, and praying the Friday prayer in Tekke Mosque, which survived for centuries in Struga Ohrid coast, and having fish soup at “Subaşı” we had the opportunity to roam and see the beautiful towns, will be among the unforgettable memories.
As known, in order to spread Islam, the housing held by “Yellow Saltuk” in this region for centuries before the Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish and other ethnic groups, two million people lived there. At the time of Yildirim Beyazit Han, it was conquered by Pasha Yigit and the remaining 540 years of Ottoman rule in Macedonia, today there are 500 thousand Turkish people there.
Murad Khan, attempted at the Turkization of these regions by sending nomadic Turkish tribes there. And then from 1908 until 1923, 300 thousand people, and between the years 1952-58, 70 thousand families left their homes and where forced to immigrate to Turkey.
However, towns and villages such as Kicevo,Vardar and Tetovo, and in almost all villages ,you can see mosque domes and minarets rise as icons, which connects the past history to future the Muslims, and gives relief to the spirits… Skopje, Sultan Murad, Kose Kadi, Ishak Bey, Isa Bey and Mustafa Pasha mosques, Muslims congregation pray in these mosques the five prayers of the day.
On one side of the river Vardar Skopje divided by the middle of Anatolia, like any city or town, the historic castle dating from the Ottoman Empire surrounded by mosques, inns, baths, homes and workplaces, are usually belonged to the Turks. Then on the other side, symbolizing the new Skopje, soulless skyscrapers, luxury hotels and entertainment venues are located… despite of the destruction and disposal policies of certain circles, the wonderful works of the Ottoman Empir remain at sight. Like Kapan Han, Kurşunlu Han and Sulu Han among others…
We extend our warm and friendly thanks and gratitude for the( Struga Poetry Evenings) Committee Chairman Slave Gorgo Dimovski, and Director Mite Stepovski, who took good care of us from the moment we landed at the airport, and all valuable friends who took interest in us closely, our thanks to writer – critic Mr. Esat Bayram, Prof.Dr. Numan Aruç, and Ohri Municipality Tourism Director Mr. İlker Mustafa Beylere.
We renew our hopes and desire to win the “Struga Poetry Evenings International Festival’s – Golden Wreath Award”- won by our country’s poet Mr. Yahya Akengin – aging in the upcoming years.
In inspiration by the “Struga Poetry Evenings”, we would like to urge the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, under the auspices of our President to attempt the revival of an “International – Bosphorus Poetry Evenings” as soon as possible….