About Çiler İlhan

A short story writer and novelist, İlhan is the author of four books:

Hayattayız Madem (Everest Yayınları, 2023); in a novel spanning 1943 to 2018, Amsterdam to Auschwitz, and Aleppo to Istanbul, the Jewish father of two daughters, who has dual citizenship in Turkiye and the Netherlands, encounters a Syrian refugee in the upmarket Istanbul neighborhood of Teşvikiye.

Engagement (Nişan Evi, Everest, 2021); a novella based on the true story of a mass murder that took place in May 2009, in southeastern Turkey; published also in the Netherlands (April 2024, De Geus) and in UK (May 2024, Istros Books.) 

Exile (Sürgün, Everest Publications, 2010); interconnected stories with themes ranging from the invasion of Iraq to women’s rights in Batman, and the fate of laboratory dogs; winner of the 2011 European Union Prize for Literature, published in over 20 countries. 

Chamber of Dream Merchants (Rüya Tacirleri Odası, Artemis, 2006); interconnected stories with traces of magic realism.

Ilhan’s short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines, starting in her youth. Her essays, book reviews and travel writings have appeared in numerous magazine and newspaper supplements. Her stories and essays have been included in 20 national and international anthologies.

Çiler İlhan studied International Relations and Political Science at Boğaziçi University in Türkiye, and Hotel Management at the HOSTA Hotel School in Switzerland. She has worked in hotel management, marketing/communications, and publishing (as an editor/writer). She’s a member of Turkish and Dutch PEN. Born and raised in Türkiye, she currently lives in the Netherlands.

Hayattayız Madem -Duygu Asena Novel Award 2024, finalist
Exile -European Union Prize for Literature 2011 (
Exile -Prix Du Livre Lorientales 2017, finalist
“Notable Short Story Award”, Yaşar Nabi Nayır Youth Awards 1993


Çiler İlhan Works




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