Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

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Kaplan, Yasir İslam

Yasir İslam Kaplan, M.A.

PhD Student in Contemporary Turkish Literature

Doctoral Project

Modern Literary Rewritings of Quranic and Biblical Narratives in Turkish

This project is a study of contemporary literary rewritings of Quranic and Biblical stories in Turkish prose fiction and drama. By employing a generic approach to the rewritings, published in the last and this century, this project aims to analyze the popular evaluations of religious stories in Turkish literature and how the religious stories function within a socio-political context. As is known, the religious stories are continually being generated not only in Turkish literature but also in world literatures. Hence, it can be said that these rewritings emerge as a common thematic genre for world literatures and, by manipulating the source narrative, forge new understandings of holy books. Even though such rewritings have already been subjects of literary, religious, and cultural studies, the texts from Turkish literature seem to be either glossed over or genuinely unnoticed in academic studies. This lack of scholarly attention is surprising given how deeply rooted in Turkish literary traditions, how repeatedly used, and widely-read these Turkish rewritings are. In this project, a representative sample of the thematic genre from Turkish literature will be analyzed; therefore, it will contribute to the existing literature by providing a “Muslim” socio-cultural angle. The study will pursue mainly two goals: (i) to historicize the production and reception of the rewritings within Turkish literary cultures; and (ii) to interpret and analyze the representative examples of the genre, which have been authored from perspectives often contradicting each other. Thus, it will be possible to identify the intertextual development of the thematic genre and main discourses which re-formulate the religious narratives.

Curriculum Vitae

2011-2017, BSc in Industrial Engineering and 2015-2018, BA in Turkish Language and Literature in Istanbul Şehir University. Exchange student at the Justus Liebig University of Gießen (2017) and University of Paderborn (2018). 2017-2019, MA in Turkish Language and Literature in Boğaziçi University, Master’s thesis “Messianic Hopes in Oğuz Atay’s Works: Representations of Jesus in Tutunamayanlar and ‘Beyaz Mantolu Adam’. 2015-2020 scholarship holder of The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). Since October 2020 doctoral student at Turkish Studies of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. Project Topic: “Modern Literary Rewritings of Quranic and Biblical Narratives in Turkish”. In October 2021, joined the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies.


  • 2019-2020 scholarship holder of TUBITAK (2211-E)
  • 2017-2019 scholarship holder of TUBITAK (2210-B)
  • 2015-2019 scholarship holder of TUBITAK (2205)
  • 2011-2018 scholarship holder of Istanbul Şehir University



  • "Asır Sonu Edebiyatında Yoksulluğun İzlerini Aramak", T24, 5 July 2018,,1850

Edited Books

  • Pakize. Süleyman Tevfik. ed. by Yasir I. Kaplan. Istanbul: Kapra Yayıncılık, 2021.

Conference Talks

  • "Estetiğin Sadakası: Servet-i Fünun Dergisinde Fakirliğin Halleri". Asır Sonu Osmanlı Kültür Tarihinde Servet-i Fünun Dergisi Sempozyumu. Boğaziçi University, 27 February 2019. İstanbul. Turkey.


  • "Oğuz Atay’ın Eserlerinde Mesiyanik Umutlar", 12 Punto Tez Savunmaları. University of Samsun 17 December 2020. Samsun. Turkey.