Turkish Writer Yasar Kemal Dead at 91

Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal, 91, died in Istanbul on Sunday; he was being treated at a hospital for multiple organ failure. Kemal was best known for his first novel, Ince Memed, for his leftist views and for defending minority rights, including for Kurds (Kemal was Kurdish). Memed, published in 1955, depicts the injustices imposed on villagers by landlords in the agrarian regions of Turkey where Kemal grew up; the character of Memed was based in part on Kemal's mother's brother, an outlaw named Mayro who was killed at age 25.