“Any person who reads Kedi Mektupları will not see the cats as they used to.
Meanwhile, any cat who reads Kedi Mektupları will not treat the people as they used to.”
These are the words which describe the reader’s feeling best.
After Elveda Alyoşa which consists of short stories, Oya Baydar’s Kedi Mektupları was
awarded with Yunus Nadi in 1993. Oya Baydar was born in 1940 in İstanbul. After, graduated
high school, she went to the İstanbul University to study sociology. Her thesis Born of
Labour Class in Turkey was rejected for two times and the students protested it taking
control of the university. That was the first occupancy in Turkey. Then, Oya Baydar became
an assistant in Hacettepe University. But it lasted for a short time and she went to Germany as
an exile for twelve years. This exile helped her creating Kedi Mektupları. However, unlike her
other books, Kedi Mektupları’s main theme is not the politics.
The novel shows us the fears, passions, discussions, pleasures and grieves of the exile
people of 68 race, via their cats. As for Nina, the main cat character, “In this book, there is
nothing new about cats. Nevertheless, it is useful for the cats who want to know the people
The book begins with the “smell letters” of Nina and Arthur. Then, Kirli, Yoldaş,
Gece, Safinaz, Kısmet and Cimcim join this friendship. They write these letters either to the
clothes or to the possessions of people. When they are late to answer, they apologise. In
addition they never forget to hug their friends with the feeling of love and longing. Then there
is an emergency, they end their letter with “ fareler kebap; acele cevap.” At the same time,
when they are to meet at a specific time or place Arthur calls them with “ the roundtable of
Arthur.” They always show respect to the eldest member Nina and listen her advice,
sometimes they even tell her gossips about the owners. That is, they are always...