The Walk Interrupted

In the present of Eroğlu’s third novel, Yarım Kalan Yürüyüş (1986, The Walk Interrupted), his protagonist, Korkut Laçin, is released from prison on 20 July 1983, following six years of imprisonment, and travels to Çeşme, where he searches for Sedat Bender, a friend he has watched over all his life. The novel, which is structured as a detective tale, ends nine days later in a hospital room. Korkut Laçin’s eventful past is told via witnesses as well as through flashbacks. The reader learns that Korkut is an orphan, and his determination to protect the weak made him fearless, brave, and resistant. In 1975 he fled abroad because he was being sought in connection with a laboratory fire. The laboratory was using canaries for testing, and Korkut, who was trying to free them, was not responsible for the blaze. Two years later, while working on a ship, he killed a quarantined sailor named Raul, who was afflicted with rabies, suffering intensely, and begging to die. Later, Korkut was stabbed by men who held him responsible for the death of Raul, and he was returned to Turkey by the police on Surabaya Island, which led to his imprisonment. In an interview in Cumhuriyet (8 February 1986), Eroğlu emphasized that his protagonist is a larger-than-life character whose courage and toleration of pain makes him akin to the heroes evident in the history of Turkish political activism, the germ of which can be taken back in time until the oppositional figures in Ottoman times such as the İttihatçılar (Unionists). In his review of the novel in Cumhuriyet (8 May 1986), Atilla Özkırımlı suggested that Eroğlu used Korkut “to verify ideas in his head” and explore “the God-human dilemma.”