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Die Entstehung der Rubrik wurde durch eine Förderung des Hauptstadtkulturfonds ermöglicht. 

Menekşe Toprak



Birthplace: Kayseri
Country of birth: Turkey
Lives in: Berlin, Neukölln, Berlin, and Pangaltı, Istanbul

Language: Turkish
Working language:


Born in Kayseri, Turkey, Menekşe Toprak came to Germany with her parents when she was 9 years old. She went to high school in Ankara and later studied at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Ankara. Since 2002 she has been working as a freelance author and radio journalist between Istanbul and Berlin. She writes in Turkish, stories and novels, yet also loves to read in German. Her collection of stories Valizdeki Mektup (The Letter Inside the Suitcase) was published in 2007, followed by Hangi Dildedir Aşk (What Language Has Love) in 2009, and her debut novel Temmuz Çocukları (July Children) in 2011. Her latest book, Ağıtın Sonu, was awarded the prestigious Duygu Asena Prize for the novel of the year 2015. The German translation of the novel will be published under the title Die Geschichte von der Frau, den Männern und den verlorenen Märchen by Orlanda Verlag, Berlin, in the autumn of 2017.

6 Questions

What brought you to Berlin? Love? World politics? Or was it a coincidence?

First work, then love. Right after college I started work at a Turkish bank and got sent to a local branch in Berlin for two years. Berlin was beautiful, and I was in love with a man and with literature.

What do you love about Berlin?

I love how green Berlin is and the smell of the linden trees in summer. I love the Turkish side of Berlin but also how uncomplicated people are, such people are harder and harder to find in Istanbul.

What do you miss in Berlin?

The sea and the boats of Istanbul. Wannsee is a bit small in comparison.

What is your favorite spot in Berlin?

Nollendorfplatz. To sit in one of the cafés and wander around Winterfeldplatz.

Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?

Hard to say. I like working in both cities, Istanbul and Berlin. I often collect stories in Istanbul, which I then write down in Berlin. This way both cities are connected with each other.


2016  Writers Grant from the Civittela-Ranieri Foundation in Italy.
2015 Ağıtın Sonu was awarded the Duygu Asena Prize for the novel of the year.


Publications in german

Publications in original language


Doğan Kitap/Istanbul, 2022 Roman


İletişim Yayınları / Istanbul, 2018 Roman

Temmuz Çocukları (Julikinder)

İletişim Yayınları, 2011 YKY, İletişim Yayınları 2016 Roman

Hangi Dildedir Aşk

YKY, 2009 Erzählungen

Valizdeki Mektup

İletişim Yayınları, 2007 YKY, İletişim Yayınları 2016 Erzählungen

Rağmen, antoloji

Karakarga, 2019 Erzählungen

Ağıtın Sonu

İletişim Yayınarı, 2014 Roman

Hangi Dildedir Aşk

YKY, 2009 Erzählungen

Valizdeki Mektup (Der Brief im Koffer)

YKY/İletişim İstanbul , 2007/ 2016 Erzählungen