What distinguishes Semih Poroy among his peers is the prevalence of humour in his drawings, writes Tan Oral. Poroy’s special connection with the literary world adds another dimension to his work and is depicted through critical, humorous and ironic observations by a cartoonist truly enjoying the world of letters.
About the artist
Semih Poroy (born 1954) left Istanbul University in the senior year of his law studies to commit himself to the world of cartoons.
His first works appeared in Akbaba (The Condor), Turkey’s oldest humour magazine, in 1975. Since then, his cartoons have been featured in many newspapers and periodicals on the left side of the political spectrum. In 1988, he became a full-time staff member of the daily Cumhuriyet, for which he has been drawing as a freelance since 1977. His comic strip Harbi (Tough Guy) has been running in this newspaper since 1989. For the last five years, he has been drawing the full-page Feklavye (Keyboard F), a satire on the literary world, for Cumhuriyet‘s book supplement.
Poroy was one of the signatories of the “Petition of the Intellectuals” set up in 1984 against the military administration that seized power on 12 September 1980. Following the reestablishment of NGOs after a period of martial law, he was elected chairman of the Cartoonists Society of Turkey in 1984.
In addition to many articles on cartoons and humour published in cultural magazines, Poroy has published five collections: Portreler (Portraits, 1998), Meyhane Peceteleri (Scribbling on Pub Napkins, 1998), Gölgenizi Kullanabilir miyim? (Can I Use Your Shadow?, 1999), Feklavye (Keyboard F, 2008) and Ohne Worte (2008, Germany; a Turkish edition is forthcoming).
A retrospective exhibition marking “35 years in cartooning” opens in Istanbul on 9 December 2010.