YENI SAFAK Newspaper,
September 05, 2007
As the story goes, Israfel will bring life to an end with his first blow of the Sur, bring all the dead to life with his second blow and get everybody together on the Judgment Day with his third blow and now keep you wondering with this novel set under his wings. ’The Wings of Israfel’ which is set both in the Istanbul of 1950s and in the Ottoman Empire of 1700s, is a novel which flows with transitions to and from both periods of history. Because of this fact, the book includes clues about the daily lives of both the Istanbul of 1950s and the Ottomans of 1700s, touching the historical events as well.
Omar is very impressed by a mysterious book which his pasha grandfather told him about. According to what his grandfather told him, there is a book which can be read from four directions, from right to left, from left to right, downwards and upwards, having a different meaning in each direction. It consists of 444 pages and 4 chapters, and includes the secrets of in the universe. Omar doesn’t believe in the existence of the book and doesn’t care much about it at first, but then he is in its form of writing and mentions the book to his close friends, Raffi, David and Teodor. Now the focus of attention of this group of four is this book. Each member of the group tries to trace the book with a search in his own way. The same attempt is made by a Frenchman in the Ottoman Empire of 1700s, Emile Gautier, except for one difference: Gautier doesn’t try to look for the book but he tries to read it. Emile Gautier possesses the book.
The book looks as if it was written in all the alphabets of the world, is like a closed box that has a faded silhouette of Israfel on it. Whenever it tends to open itself or reveals a little bit of its meaning, it spreads fear. These four like-minded young men, revises all the ancient principles such as Islamic mysticism, cabala and the Sator square. Omar reads his grandfather’s books thinking that he may have found the book previously. In the subplot of the novel, Sultan Mahmud, the sultan of the period, has been informed about the book. The book which has been obtained by a number of people is in the end forgotten in the hidden section behind Nadir Shah’s throne.
Since the publication of ‘Da Vinci Code’ and tremendous interest in it, a lot of books have been written about tracing down the lost sacred objects, the lost codes and the lost books. Adventure novels based on mystique have attracted great attention. Hakan Yaman’s novel can be seen as a book which holds on to this stream. However, Yaman started to write this first novel of his in the year 2000, that is, before this popularity.