Murat Tuncel

Murat Tuncel was born in Kars, in eastern Turkey in 1952. He worked in Turkey as a primary school teacher and later taught Turkish language in a high school. He later worked as a journalist for numerous newspapers and magazines.

He has published eleven books in Turkish including novels, short stories, children's books and memoirs. Two of his novels and a short story collection won major literary awards in Turkey.

His first story was published in the Uyaniş newspaper in 1979. His stories are published in literary magazines such as Varlik, Evrensel Kültür, Damar, Edebıyat Dunyası, Kıyı, Gösteri Sanat and Cumhuriyet Kitap. He also regularly contributes to Turkish literary magazines on subjects such as Dutch and Flemish literature.

Tuncel's most recent work, the first of a series of novels titled "The Ottomans- Thracian Sun" is currently being prepared for publication in Bulgarian and Arabic while his short story book titled "Shadow Girl" is also planned to be published in Russian.

Tuncel is also member of the Turkish Writer's Association (TYS) and the Dutch Writer's Association (VvL), Turkish PEN, Turkish Journalist's Association and several other writer's clubs.




Set in the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century, it is the story of Cemil, an educated man who despite having studied in Baghdad, Istanbul and Paris, still hasn't found "himself" and lives in his father's shadow.

During his search to find himself, he meets an Armenian girl and falls in love.

Cemil is already married and the girl's father does not approve his daughter becoming Cemil's second wife. He sends Cemil from their village into exile. The story follows Cemil, his wife and the Armenian girl on their journey to find a place to live and the three men who try to protect them.

Intertwined with Cemil's story is another about Bilal, a young man sent to become a Janissary - a soldier for the Empire. Following the Sultan's disbandment of the Janissary Corps, Bilal starts working for a Pasha. One evening whilst looking after hunting dogs, in the Pasha's mansion, he sees a girl. She's Nurhayal, one of the Pasha's concubines. Even though it's forbidden for them to meet or even look at each each other, they fall in love.

Set during a turbulent period in Istanbul's history this novel explores the lives of its soldiers and people, their social lives, relationships and their struggles to live in the capital of the Ottoman Empire.



Ottomans 1 - The Thracian Sun

‘The Thracian Sun' is the first book in the six part series titled ‘The Ottomans'. Orhan I, one of the founders of the Ottoman State, appoints Suleiman Pasha as the army general during his reign. The prince came to be called the Thracian Sun due to his victorious conquests at a young age and enabling passage into Thracian lands. In the meanwhile, the fight between Andronicus III Palaeologus and John VI Cantacuzene for the Byzantine throne had weakened the state. Constantinople realised the magnitude of the approaching danger and attempted to quash its internal struggles in preparation for attack. However, as it was surrounded and had no room to manoeuvre, it found itself in dire straits. Suleiman Pasha, who left no Byzantine castle unconquered in Rumelia, died in an unfortunate hunting accident and his brother Murad I ascended to the throne. All the historical characters in this novel are represented in their individual worlds through Murat Tuncel's words. He tells the story of the passage of the last great empire from Anatolia to Thrace and the Balkans. Through his masterly use of epic language, Tuncel sometimes gives voice to a mountain, sometimes to the sun, the clouds and also to the fears and hopes of those both inside and outside a beleaguered castle.

"Upon receiving the news, the feeling that his mansion had crumbled on top of him overcame Orhan I as he gasped for breath. He struggled out to the gardens as he realised that his body couldn't bear the pain he felt between the four walls of his room. Once outside he let out such a yell that even Mount Olympus, leaning her shadow over Bursa, would take two steps back in fear at the extent of this pain. As soon as she overcame her fear and saw that this painful scream was none other than the outcry of a helpless father she approached warily to console him with her shadow."