Readers > Sadik Yemni
My name is Sadik Yemni and I was born in Istanbul, Turkey, but moved with my parents to Izmir when I was still a baby. I grew up in that picturesque, small-scale metropolis with its inhabitants: a mesh of Turkish, Greek and Italian Jews immigrated from Selanik. Izmir is a magical place thousands of years old, steeped in Hellenic history with a sprinkling of Ottoman tradition.
I started school and was particularly successful in chemistry during by teen years, at which time I entertained myself and innocent bystanders with pranks arranged in my "home lab," like rockets and rocks that burn underwater and napkins that just catch fire for no apparent reason. I even filled in for my chemistry teacher in class when he was out a few days.
Then came those sad days of political unrest and the resulting coup d'etat in Turkey, from 1972-75. In 1975, as a junior in the Chemistry Dept. at Ege University, I went on a tour to Amsterdam to visit relatives and have lived there ever since.
In Amsterdam, I apprenticed with my uncle in his dressmaking shop, which also served as a meeting place for immigrant Turks of all kinds. The day started with the restaurant owners dropping by for a cup of tea. As the day progressed, we served tea to all sorts of people: bullies wanted for murder, gigolos, the chronically-unemployed looking to waste an hour or two, runaways looking for work, thugs hawking stolen goods, and so oncoloring our days with their stories.
At the end of the 1970s and the hippy era, I got interested in amateur sports and coaching and was a jury member at sporting events. On the side, I sold gyros, carried furniture, and did janitorial work until I finally settled at a proper jobgatekeeper for the railroad!
During the quiet hours as a gatekeeper, I had time to reflect on my life, read, and think. I decided to get away from Amsterdam and spent a spell in Sydney, Australia. After many adventures and misadventures, I returned to Amsterdam. In 1984, I became enchanted with the carnival in Rio de Janeiro and thought I might stay on there. It almost worked, but no, I found myself heading back to Amsterdam.
In 1985, I became a father for the first time and shortly thereafter, my first book was published. I began my literary career with a series of books on the social situation of immigrants in Amsterdam. The Iron Beak, Soul of the Bridge, Visible and Invisible Turks, Deliberate Ignorance, and Knights of Amsterdam were my first works. Immmigrant literature was not very popular in those days, but my interests seemed to lead me in another direction anyway, and I began to focus on the possibilities of the mysterious, dark and mystic supernatural, with a dab of science fiction, part of my nature.
The Amulet was much acclaimed in Turkey. The Rose of Amsterdam and The Other Place followed shortly in the same genre, which I have made my own.
From 1996-97, I wrote the scenario for a television series called "Mystery Files," which was aired in Turkey.
In 2002, I continued my adventure into fantasy and science fiction literature with a fun thriller called, Metros. In 2003, I wrote a mystery set on a Pera Island called The Dissolver. A fantasy called 1002 Nighttime Stories was followed in 2004 by The Waiting Room. In 2005-06 I wrote a book based on political unrest in Holland called The Conversation House, but was then ready to go back to my first lovethe mysterious and supernatural. I am currently wrapped up in writing a new book and scenarios for a new TV series.
May 10, 2010