ERTUGRUL OGUZ FIRAT (EOF)
Firat was born in Malatya/Turkey, in 1923, graduated from the İstanbul University Law Faculty in 1948. After many years of working in different cities as judge, he retired and settled in Ankara in 1979. After a career as a bold judge with a record of sound verdicts, when he retired, he permitted his artistic side, until then kept in the background, to come forward somewhat. ‘’Somewhat’’, because Ertugrul Oguz Firat has never wished to be known for what he does.
Throughout his life, Firat was very involved in all branches of art. He began to compose music in 1943-44, at which time he studied harmony with Karl Berger, writing his first poems and stories during the same period. While doing his military service in Ankara, he corresponded with Ilhan Usmanbas and delved further into music. In 1953-54, he composed Trio Sonata Opus 3 for violin, clarinet and piano. His compositions have been performed by Turkish and foreign ensembles and one of them was performed in Paris and broadcast by TRT.
Even today it is not easy to gain access to Firat’s compositions. Yet in musical circles and especially to the younger generations, he has for a long time exerted a great attraction. For years he gave music lessons that were a training ground for most of today’s young composers.
Firat’s poetry and writings have appeared in such magazines as Kucuk Dergi, Pazar Postasi, Türk Dili, Yücel, Opus, Forum, Küg, Eflatun, Flarmoni, Ankara Sanat and Olusum. His first book, a collection of short stories entitled Karmakarisik Oyküler Kitabi (Tangled Stories), was published in 1995, while in 1997 appeared Sevicira, an anthology of interrelated stories and poems. Fırat’s latest book is Cagdas Küg Tarihi Icin Imler-1 (Remarks on the History of Modern Music-1), brough out in 1999 by Yapi Kredi Publications.
His least known side, is painting. Until a quarter century ago Fırat held solo exhibitions, participated in collective exhibitions and even displayed his paintings abroad; but then decided to keep all his works in his home, which he hopes will some day become a small museum. And yet it is in painting that Firat is most accessible. Not because his works are easy, on the contrary, here too one encounters the multi-layered profundity of his art.
Firat began to paint in 1960 and held his first art exhibition in 1970, in the Galerie-Palette-Röderhaus in the German City of Wuppertal.
The most of his paintings which are largely figurative, descending fearlessly into the caverns of unconscious, powerful worlds of color, are in special collections in Turkey, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, USA and others are belong to the Art Foundation which was established by Ertugrul Firat.
If he has not achieved fame, the cause must be sought in a splendid distinction of Cetin Altan’s: Firat is not ‘’important’’ but ‘’worthy’’.