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What do Turkish novelist Ahmet Ümit and the grande dame of crime fiction, Agatha Christie, have in common?



Kalem Agency Newsletter

Joining the likes of Alfred Hitchcock:

Ahmet Ümit first living Turkish author to have a room named after him at the Pera Palace Hotel


Istanbul is a city of many mysteries. When you think of Agatha Christie, the splendour of the Orient Express and the murder solved by famous private detective Poirot come to mind... But thrilling mysteries are not a thing of the past, indeed. Even today, Istanbul has preserved its magical and mysterious mood. One of the Turkish masters of capturing the unique setting of Istanbul in his works, Ahmet Ümit, is not only a talented crime fiction writer in his own right, he has one more thing in common with the gifted Ms. Christie: both have occupied rooms at the famous Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul. And both of them, among many other icons and legends, have had rooms named after them.

In order to research his next novel, Kalem Agency-represented author Ahmet Ümit has taken residence at Room 410 at the historic hotel that hosted treasured literary figures from 007 James Bond-author Ian Fleming to Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemingway, as well as political figures such as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, and icons from Alfred Hitchcock to Mata Hari: The Pera Palace Hotel has been a center of social, cultural and art life in Istanbul since the 19th century.

But apart from being a haven for everybody who's somebody in Istanbul and in the world, the Pera Palace names its rooms after its most distinguished guests. Now, our author's legacy will be immortalized in The Ahmet Ümit Room 410. Of the great honour of being the first living Turkish novelist to be awarded this status, he says:
 
“The Pera Palace [...] earned its reputation not only for it architectural value, but also as a place that witnessed to significant events of the late history of our country.
Having hosted world famous authors like Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie, the Pera Palace has an important place in my past as a writer. When my first detective novel "The Fog and the Night" was published, I held the press conference for the release at the Pera Palace. This landmark building is also the setting for the plot of my book "Agatha's Keys". And now, it plays host to a considerable part of my new novel. [...] I will, of course, frequently stay in this hotel when writing this novel. So when the General Manager of the Pera Palace made this kind offer and said to me, 'We would like to name one of the rooms of our hotel after you', I accepted with excitement. Having my name inscribed in this building, one of the landmarks of Istanbul, and along the names of authors that I admire very much, is an honour for me.”

 
For those seeking a literary adventure in Istanbul or simply want to take a drink where Ernest Hemingway used to while away an evening or two, the Pera Palace Hotel is a must-see, and visitors can now stay in The Ahmet Ümit Room - right next to Agatha Christie's former residence, where she was inspired to write "Murder On The Orient Express". General Manager of the hotel, Ms. Pinar Kartal Timer, is "happy and proud" to count Ahmet Ümit as one of the literary patrons lending his name to one of the rooms:
 
"The Pera Palace Hotel, with its historical significance deeply rooted in the past, has made important contributions to the socio-cultural life of Istanbul. With this in mind, we have assumed the mission of remembering, and in a way immortalizing, the prominent representatives of our cultural and artistic life. The first step in this direction is naming of room 410 after our esteemed author Ahmet Ümit. Furthermore, we provide an opportunity to our foreign guest to become acquainted with Turkish authors with this choice. For this reason, we are happy and proud."

Kalem Agency is very proud to present to you this accomplished author who has enriched the Turkish literary scene with his many novels and story collections.

Available works by Ahmet Ümit:

A New Year's Eve Murder in Istanbul (Beyoğlu’nun En Güzel Abisi), November 2013, novel, 300.000 copies sold in 2 months
As New Year's night progresses in Istanbul, Detective Chief Superintendent Nevzat and Detective Inspector Ali are called out to Tarlabasi, a neighbourhood that seethes   with low-life drug dealers, small and grand scale gangsters, prostitutes, pimps and drug addicts. Tarlabasi, surrounded by the lively urban centre of Istanbul, has managed to resist the process of gentrification and sets a dark and intimidating mood for Detective Nevzat's latest case. When a ambitious gang memeber is found knifed to death outside the Tarlabasi Local Club, Nevzat and his colleague Ali find themselves amongst the shadiest of the shady: the illegal gambling club owners and competing drug and prostitution ring leaders.
Rights Sold:
Greece:
Patakis; Bulgaria: Prozoretz;
Serbia: Dereta;


A Memento for Istanbul (İstanbul Hatırası), 2010, novel, 250.000 copies sold
"A Memento For Istanbul" is the gripping tale of Detective Chief Superintendent Nevzat's investigation into seven rulers, seven coins and seven historical monuments of Istanbul. In this quest, Nevzat and his colleagues uncover the link between the city and the murder victims, leading them deep into the history of Istanbul and to the astonishing finale, when the true killers and their motives are revealed. The reader, whilst captivated by a murder investigation full of twists and turns, menacing characters and sinister settings, is also taken on a spectacular – and enlightening – journey into the history of Istanbul, one of the world's most beautiful and bewitching cities.
 
Rights Sold:
Albania
: Fan Noli; Arabic: Thaqafa, 2013; Azerbaijan: Qanun; Bulgaria: Colibri;
China: Shanghai Translation Publishing;
Croatia: Hena; Czech: Host; France: Galaade; Georgia: Siesta; Greece: Patakis, 2012;
Hungary: Egmont;
India-Hindi: Bhartiya Anuvad Parishad; Macedonia: Antolog; Pakistan: Jumhoori;
Serbia: Sezam; Taiwan: Cite Publishing, 2013;

Killing the Sultan (Sultani Öldürmek) "2012 THE BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR IN TURKEY"
Novel, 528 pages. Published April 2012, already sold 200.000 copies

Rights Sold:
Croatia: Naklada Ljevak;
Bulgaria: Ciela; Hungary: Egmont;
Arabic: Thaqafa;

 



 

Ahmet Ümit - one of Turkey's most esteemed crime authors


Born in 1960, Ahmet Ümit was an active member of the Turkish Communist Party from 1974 until 1989, taking part in the underground movement for democracy while Turkey was under the rule of a military dictatorship between 1980-1990. He illegally attended the Academy for Social Sciences in Moscow in the Eighties. Now he has become one of Turkey’s most renowned contemporary authors, especially well-known for his mastery of the mystery genre. His skillful writing is reflected in many of his bestselling novels and short story volumes. Drawing upon his and Turkey's unique political and historical background, Ümit delves into the psyches of his well-wrought characters as he weaves enthralling tales of murder and political intrigue.

The Pera Palace Hotel


The Pera Palace Hotel (Turkish: Pera Palas Oteli) is a historic hotel and located in the Beyoğlu district in Istanbul, Turkey. Designed by Alexander Vallaury, it was built in 1892 to host the passengers of the Orient Express and was named after the historically significant area of Pera, once known as "Little Europe", in which it stands. It holds the title of "oldest European hotel of Turkey".
 
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