Mehmet Faruk Gürtunca

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Mehmet Faruk Gürtunca
Biographical information
Born: 1904, Edirne
Died: 1982, Istanbul
Nationality: Mini turkey.gif Turkish
Occupation: Editorial people

Mehmet Faruk Gürtunca was a Turkish writer and poet and known as the pioneer of comics publications in Turkey.


Mehmet Faruk Gürtunca was educated as a teacher in Edirne. He was the editor of several magazines, among them the two children's magazines Çocuk Sesi and Afacan. Afacan's 1st series, which started in 1932, capitalized on "Mickey Mouse" strip continuities. Both Afacan and Çocuk Sesi, which had started in 1930, also published humorous juvenile comics continuities by Orhan Tolon, regarded as the first Turkish comics artist. Afacan's 2nd series, which started in 1934, began running "Avcı Baytekin (Jungle Jim)" and "Tarzan". Then, "Baytekin (Flash Gordon)" began in color in the center pages of Çocuk Sesi with no. 281 (13.5.1935) and caused a big sensation.

On July 6th, Gürtunca's Ülkü Yayınevi (Ülkü Publishing House) published an Avcı Baytekin album, which is apparently the first comics book ever published in Turkey. It was followed in August with six Secret Agent X-9 albums, confusingly titled Baytekin (it should be noted that the Turkish publishers presented all three characters by Alex Raymond as if they were the same character, venturing into the jungles, into the space and working as a secret police from time to time!). In September, seven Mickey Mouse albums and at least three more Baytekin (X-9) albums were published. While it was claimed that some of these albums, for instance the Baytekin / X-9 ones, reached a circulation of 50,000, no new comics book seems to have been published in 1936. It might be speculated that a reason might be the anxiety of the publishers not to deplete all available material quickly and spare them to be used in the children's magazines. It was only in 1937 that a Baytekin (Flash Gordon) book was finally published. Çocuk Sesi and Afacan would eventually merge and continue until 1940.