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Ismail Gülgeç, 1947-2011
posted June 6, 2011

imageThe Turkish cartoonist Ismail Gülgeç, a widely-read newspaper cartoonist and a fixture in that country's related professional associations, died at Istanbul University Medical Faculty University earlier this week, after suffering a massive heart attack on February 7. He was 63 years old.

Gülgeç was born in the province of Gaziantep. Frequently sick as a child, Gülgeç taught himself to make art and to cartoon in and around illness-related interruptions to his primary education.

His first newspaper gig came in 1965 for Yeni Asir, and his first cartooning placement came three years later in Yeni Asir. He quickly became known as a caricaturist. In the 1970s, he was widely published in a variety of publication including newspapers such as Ege Ekspres and magazines such as Devir. His biggest gig during that decade was a job at the daily newspaper Milliyet, which he held between 1975 and 1980. He also contributed cartoons to Milliyet's comic paper, called Kirpi. Another significant story for him during the 1970s was the feature Ormangiller, which is said to have driven revived national interest in the comic strip. In 1980 he moved to Cumhuriyet, although he continued to draw for a variety of clients, expanding his reach like many veteran cartoonist into illustration and other commercial art gigs. His Memo feature took on historical events, while Insanlar dealt with events from everyday life.

He was a member of the Turkish Journalists Association, and was a member and past chairman (1988-1989, 1991) of the Caricaturist Association

A ceremony for the cartoonist was in front of the Cumhuriyet building in the Şişli province of Istanbul yesterday; plans for burial will see his remains moved to the province of Canakkale in the northwest of Turkey.