HomeREADERSArt & CultureIrakli Kakabadze, Georgian Poet in Istanbul, Turkey

Irakli Kakabadze, Georgian Poet in Istanbul, Turkey

Born 17 November 1982.

He studied at Tbilisi Spiritual Academy, Universities of Tbilisi and Petersburg. He teaches and is the editor of the journal Mastsavlebeli (Teacher) and of the internet paper Mastsavlebeli.ge.

He is the author of poetry and prose collections: Letters and Barbed-Wires (2010), Iaki Kabe – Poems (2012), On the State Gallows (2013), Iskander Baltazar Kirmiz – The Guide to Turkish Songs (2013), Three Dots (2015), The Book of Exodus (2018), Revelation (2019)

In 2018 he translated the collection of poems Istanbul Travel Guide” by Turkish writer Rumuz Derinoz, who is a descendant of Georgian Muhajirs.

His poems written under the name Iaki Kabe was the 2013 bestseller. His works are translated into the Turkish,  Lithuanian, Russian, French and Belorussian languages. He has participated in numerous literary festivals and programmes and is actively involved in defending human rights and freedom of speech.

At present he lives in the art and culture capital of Turkey, Istanbul, where he founded Georgian Culture Center – “Galaktioni” and the Association of Georgian Countrymen in Turkey. He teaches Georgian language in several educational institutions.

The turkish translation of his “The Book of Exiodus” entered the list of Turkish bookstore chain -“Pandora’s” bestsellers in 2020.

The poet Irakli Kakabadze is the author of four collections of poetry and one book of short stories. For several years he worked in the public sector, specifically at the National Center for Teacher Development in Tbilisi, a legal entity under the Ministry of Education and Science in Georgia. Following his first appearance on the creative scene, while still a civil servant, he rapidly made a name for himself as a passionate social activist and an indefatigable defender of human rights and freedom of speech, and these are precisely the topics he deals with in his work.

Even while still employed by the civil service, he never shied away from harsh criticism of the state and the Georgian Orthodox Church, but eventually, due to the impossibility of reconciling his work for the government with his activism, he was forced to leave his homeland for Turkey.

Kakabadze now lives in Istanbul. He owns a café called Café Galaktion, named after the great Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze, and spends the rest of his time popularizing Georgian culture throughout Turkey, teaching Georgian to ethnic Georgians living in Turkey, and responding through his writing to controversies back home.

Kakabaze is the only famous Georgian writer living in Istanbul. He tries to connect Georgian and Turkish, these  two neighboring peoples more closely through culture and literature.

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