Nazim Hikmet to be remembered in Toy Museum

Nazim Hikmet to be remembered in Toy Museum

On 3 June 1963 the great communist poet Nazim Hikmet died in exile in Moscow. He had escaped to the USSR after spending much of his Turkish life in prison, because of his open commitment to communism and because of his works, deemed revolutionary and anti-Turkey.

He was stripped of his Turkish nationality in 1951 because of his communist views. The government of Justice and Development Party, or the AKP has rehabilitate Turkey's most famous 20th century poet only last year, 50 years after after he was branded as traitor.

And this year it is offering a celebration on the anniversary of his death. The Istanbul Toy Museum will host an exhibition organised with the Istanbul-based Nazým Hikmet Foundation. The exhibition features a number of pieces of clothing Hikmet wore during his early years as well as some of his toys, which he later used to keep in his study during the time he lived in Moscow.

Poet Sunay Akýn, the founder of the Istanbul Toy Museum, said in a written statement this week that the current exhibition was the first of its kind, stating that Hikmet, who used to have a special interest in toys, is being “featured in a toy museum exhibit for the first time.” “This show is also special in that it offers a glimpse of what the world of children was like 100 years ago,” the statement added.

The Istanbul Toy Museum, which Akýn founded in 2005, is located in an old mansion owned by Akýn’s family in Istanbul’s Göztepe quarter. Hikmet and his parents are known to have lived in an apartment on Taþmektep Street in Göztepe during Hikmet’s early childhood, which makes the exhibition all the more special, according to Akýn.

Hikmet died of a heart attack in Moscow on June 3, 1963, at the age of 61, in his summerhouse in Peredelkino. He is buried in Moscow’s famous Novodevichy Cemetery.