The Fisherman of Halicarnassus
Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı
Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı was born in Crete, the oldest son of the unique Şakir Pasha Family, the first link in a family renowned for its world famous artists. He completed his primary education in the District School in Büyükada, Istanbul, his secondary education in Robert College, and attended Oxford University in the U.K. where he majored in the History of the Near Ages. He then attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. His love for literature and art paved the way for his becoming a journalist.
Cevat Şakir had a good grasp of languages; he could speak and write Arabic, Farsi, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Greek and Latin and translated many books in these languages. He created illustrated books, drew caricatures, drew and painted magazine covers, and using different pen names, he wrote many articles and stories for a variety of magazines and newspapers.
Due to a story he wrote, Cevat Şakir was exiled to Bodrum – the ancient site of Halicarnassus- where he rejoiced and felt as if his soul had finally found its home. It was here he transitioned into the “Fisherman of Halicarnassus” and enriched the literary world with a profusion of novels and stories.
The main emotions underlying his novels, short stories, conferences, his thoughts and life-style were the “love and compassion” he felt for life itself. Everything: the people of the sea, the maritime animals, the islands and coves, stars, trees, sponge-divers, fishermen, mythological beings, archeology, Anatolia, blue voyages, the Aegean and the Mediterranean was suffused with this passion. The Fisherman’s stories of the expansive seas and mystical geography became legendary.
In 1946, he invited a few of his good friends among the intellectuals in Istanbul. He wanted to draw them to Bodrum to share the beauty of the Bodrum coast and the Gulf of Gökova just beyond so they sailed away on a small wooden boat. This was the first of the “Blue Voyages” and undoubtedly the most important as it chartered a brand new path and venture.
Not only was the Fisherman of Halicarnassus the brain father of the Blue Anatolian School of Thought/Blue Humanism, and Turkey’s first professional tourist guide, but also the person most responsible for promoting Bodrum as a world-class tourism destination.
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