Turhan Selçuk
1922 Born in Milas (Muğla).

1927 Started school at Beyoğlu 15. Primary School in Istanbul.

1929 Second grade at Karacasu Primary School in Istanbul.

1930 Studied third and fourth grades at 7 September Primary School in Aydın.

1932 Graduated from Yıldızeli Primary School in Sivas.

1933 Failed first grade at Ankara High School for Boys.

1934 Studied first grade at İstanbul High School for Boys.

1935-36 Studied second and third grades at Silifke Junior School and graduated.

1937 Enrolled at Haydarpaşa High School for Boys in İstanbul and studied the first half of the ninth grade. Upon the death of his elder brother Orhan Selçuk , who was in the eleventh grade at the same school, he transferred to Işık High School but failed to pass the class on account of his brother’s death.

1938 Studied at Adana High School for Boys.

1941 Graduated from the same school. His first caricatures were published by Türk Sözü (Adana) newspaper, and Kırmızı Beyaz (İstanbul) and Şut (İstanbul) sports magazines.

1942 Worked at Malatya Textile Factory in Adana, while continuing to play football for Adana Youth Football Club.

1943 Settled in İstanbul for his higher education. Failed the examination to study architecture, but won a place at the College of Dentistry. His caricatures began to be published in the humorous magazine Şaka, and he was given a job at Akbaba.

1945 Spent one year recovering from tuberculosis at Erenköy Sanatorium.

1948 Studied art history at İstanbul University for a brief time, while continuing to work for Akbaba. He also worked as a caricaturist at the humorous magazine Aydede run by Refik Halit Karay.

1949 He was influenced by the modern concept of caricature pioneered worldwide by Steinberg, leaving behind the classic Turkish caricature which had its origins in Ottoman times and was epitomised by Cemal Nadir and Ramiz Gökçe. He began to work for Yeni İstanbul newspaper, for which he wrote a series of articles on the history of world caricature, employing the term “dessin humoristique“. He asserted that graphic humour was the universal narration of caricature, and realigned his own work accordingly. He began to draw sports caricatures for Yeni Gazete.

1950-53 This was a period of research into western caricature. He studied such works as Henri Avelot’s La Caricature et Le Dessin Humoristique (Henri Laurens, Paris) and Louis Morin’s Le Dessin Humoristique (Henri Laurens, editor, Paris 1942) from translations made by his mother, Hikmet Selçuk. From these he gained a knowledge of the history of caricature, which he shared with newspaper readers. He began to follow the work of such caricaturists as Syverson, Chaval, Andre François and Steinberg from western magazines. 1951 He opened his first exhibition at Şehir art gallery in Istanbul. 1952 He and his brother Ilhan Selçuk began to publish a comic magazine 41 Buçuk (41 and a Half).

1953 He travelled abroad for the first time to Spain, Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Greece. Upon his return, he published his impressions in Milliyet, illustrated by his cartoons. He and his brother, Ilhan Selçuk, began to publish the weekly comic magazine Karikatür.

1954 His first cartoon album, the Turhan Selçuk Caricature Album, was published, and he began to draw daily cartoons for Milliyet (15 December).

1955 He was awarded First Prize for caricature in the Journalism Achievement Award Competition organised by the Association of Journalism.

1956 He and his brother Ilhan Selçuk began to publish the comic magazine Dolmuş. He was awarded the Golden Palm at the International Bordighera Golden Palm Caricature Festival in Italy, and the Silver Cup sponsored by Aero Club at the same festival. His works were included in the exhibition for this international competition.

1957 He began to draw Abdülcanbaz in Milliyet newspaper.

1958 He participated in the Political Caricature Exhibition in London.

1959 His second cartoon album, 140 Caricatures,was published.

1960 Early in this year he became a contributor to the Italian II Travaso, and visited Italy several times as a result.

1961 He began to work for the weekly newspaper of art and ideas, Yön. Run by Doğan Avcıoğlu.

1962 His third cartoon album, Turhan 62, was published. He won the Silver Date, second prize at the International Bordighera Golden Palm Caricature Festival in Italy, and hiz work was displayed at the international festival exhibition.

1964 His fourth cartoon album, Hiyeroglif, was published.

1966 Abdülcanbaz was adapted for cinema with a screen play by Bülent Oran. Directed by Tarık Dursun K., the lead roles were played by Ahmet Mekin and Hülya Koçyiğit.

1967 He participated in the “ Anti- Imperialist Exhibition of Peoples of Africa and Asia” in Peking, and one of his caricatures was included in the exhibition album.

1969 His fifth cartoon album, Hal ve Gidiş Sıfır was published. He left Milliyet newspapers (2 February) for Yeni İstanbul newspaper. The same year he transferred to Akşam newspaper (7 September).

1970 Hewas awarded the Ippocampo Award at the Ippocampo- Vasto Caricature Festival in Italy, and his caricatures were shown at te international exhibition. He began to draw for the weekly political magazine published by Doğan Avcıoğlu entitled Devrim.

1971 He was awarded the Artist of the People Award by the Union of Turkish Artists. He as arrested a few weeks after the 12 March military coup and his rib was broken by riot police.

1972 He began to work for Cumhuriyet newspaper (5 August). Abdülcanbaz was staged at Dostlar Theatre by Genco Erkal. Abdülcanbaz was played by the film actor Ahmet Mekin and Gözlüklü Sami by Genco Erkal. He began to draw for weekly current affairs magazine Toplum.

1973 He began to draw daily cartoons for the newspaper Yeni Gün (19 May) and Barış (22 October) published in Ankara.

1975 He was awarded the Silver Cup at the Verelli Caricature Biennial in Italy.

1979 His sixth caricature album, The Line Speaks, was published. A project for producing a television film of Abdülcanbaz was launched but never came to fruition.

1980 He returned with Abdülcanbaz to Milliyet.

1982 He began to draw daily cartoons for Milliyet, as well as Abdülcanbaz. He was awarded the Journalist of the Year Award for caricature by the Association of Journalists.

1983 He was awarded the Achievement Award by the Association of Journalists.

1984 His second exhibition opened at Maçka Art Gallery in Istanbul (10-28 January). He recieved the Simavi Foundation Award for the plastic arts. The jury explained their choice in the following words: “We have decided to present this award to Turhan Selçuk for his contributions to the Turkish plastic arts by making graphics an element of art. His work in the exhibition at Maçka Art Gallery in Istanbul present a graphism which extends the bounds of the plastic arts.

1985 His third exhibition entitled “ The Line Speaks” at the Tanbay Art Gallery in Ankara (20 March - 9 April); and his fourth exhibition at Çamlıca Sanat Evi. He participated in the International Caricature Exhibition at the Gabrova House of Humour in Bulgaria.

1986 After giving up work temporarily on account of his bad eyes, he returned to Milliyet newspaper. His third exhibition opened at the Lamelta Art Gallery in Ankara (7 - 25 April), and his sixth exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery in Muğla (3 - 5 October). He recieved the Achievement Award from the Association of Journalists.

1987 His poster for the Alexandre Alexandre Foundation in France advertising the French Cinemateque was hung in the Foundation. He was presented with the Achievement Award for Journalism.
1988 He was awarded the Achievement Award for Journalism by the Association of Journalists.

1989 His seventh exhibition opened at the Opera Art Gallery in Istanbul. He recieved at the Achievement Award for Journalism from the Association of Journalists.

He was elected Guest of Honour at the Eighth TÜYAP Book Fair, and to commemorate this occasion TÜYAP published Turhan Selçuk, Great Master of Graphic Humour.

1990 His eighth exhibition opened at the Bi- Ze Art Gallery in Istanbul (4 October- 3 February). His ninth exhibition opened at Milliyet Art Gallery in Ankara (May 1990). He was invited to hold an exhibition at the St. Esteve Caricature Festival in France. He was awarded the Achievement Award for Journalism by the Association of Journalists.

1991 The Turkish Post Office issued a stamp depicting Abdülcanbaz. His tenth exhibition opened at the Municipal Art Gallery in Gebze, and his eleventh exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery in Seyhan (Adana). He participated in the European Caricature Exhibition (3 November 1991-12 January 1992) organised by the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover with Semih Balcıoğlu. The exhibition album contains his biography and examples of his work.

1992 His twelfth exhibition entitled “ Turhan Selçuk’s 50th Jubilee/ Abdülcanbaz Designs and Caricature Exhibition” (7-28 January) at Garanti Art Gallery in Istanbul, and his thirteenth exhibition entitled “Human Rights caricature Exhibition” at the Çetin Emeç Art Gallery in İzmir (18-30 December). His exhibition on the subject of Human Rights which he organised at the request of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cultural Office opened first in Strasbourg, and then went on tour of other European cities. After France and Germany, this exhibition now preparing to go to Macedonia. In an opinion poll to choose “The Best in the Last Twenty Years” among Bosphorus University students as part of their twentieth anniversary celebrations, he was chosen as the Best Caricaturists. He was awarded on honorary doctorate ( Doctor Honoris Causa ) by Cumhuriyet University in Sivas.

1993 His caricature entitled “Peace and Books” was used by the Council of Europe in its campaing to promote reading. The Council of Europe used this work throughout the campaign as a logo on all its posters and documents. His exhibition entitled “Le Droits De L’Homme” opened at Le Centre Culturel Anatolie in Paris (8- 30 October).

1994 Turhan Selçuk currently draws cartoons and the adventures of Abdülcanbaz for Milliyet newspaper. Filming has been completed for the series of documentary portraits entitled The Phoenix: Thirty Travellers in Pursuit of the Truth directed by Samih Fırat which will be broadcast on TRT 2 in the 1994-95 season. The humorous culture magazine Güldiken published a special issue devoted to Turhan Selçuk. English edition of this issue was published.

[ Close ]