Book Signing & Talk: Kemal Giray

“Prisoners of War at the Ottoman Front during WWI” by Kemal Giray


Yunus Emre Institute in London is delighted to host the signing and talk of the book Prisoners of War at the Ottoman Front during WWI on Thursday 3rd February 2022 at 7 pm.
The event will start with a talk by the author, Kemal Giray, and will be followed by a Q&A session as well as a book signing. Refreshments will be provided!



About the Book:

Prisoners of War at the Ottoman Front during WWI, is a postal history book based on philatelic material, letters, postcards, original photographs and other documents belonging to the prisoners of the Great War from both sides who fought on the Ottoman front. The majority of the material compiled in this book were collected over twenty-five years by the author of the book, Kemal Giray, who is a professional philatelist, and a Fellow of The Royal Philatelic Society London.

Rich in primary materials and first-hand experiences, the book narrates how prisoners of war (‘PoW’) on both sides of the Ottoman Front managed to keep both themselves and their hopes alive. Presenting snippets of the daily life of prisoners and tracing the scars left by the war on the human soul, Kemal Giray leads the audience through an unrevealed and deeply personal history of the Great War. 


 Unique in its ability to give a voice to those not oft-heard, the book depicts a story of physical and emotional suffering during the Great War through writings, postcards, and letters of the prisoners. Despite the harsh conditions prisoners found themselves in, these documents depict people who did not abolish their emotions but remained connected to life by expressing their longing for their families, children, and homeland. In a show of incredible humanity, they tried to reclaim their identities and realities which both war and imprisonment had stripped of them through setting up their own theatres to perform plays, forming music bands and playing football. These documents not only record PoW experiences behind harsh prison walls, but the traces those walls left on the human soul in the lifetime after. 

Yunus Emre Institute in London’s 2015 “Passed by Censor: PoWs in the Great War on the Ottoman Front” exhibition was based on this book. The exhibition was launched at the House of Commons before moving to the Institute in Fitzrovia and was met with great interest by the visitors.

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Date: Thursday 3rd February 2022

Time: 7 pm

Venue: 10 Maple Street, London, W1T 5HA

Admission is FREE but registration*** is ESSENTIAL via Eventbrite.


About the Author:

Kemal Giray is a professional philatelist and editor/author of the Ottoman Post in Palestine 1840-1918 trilogy and Ottoman Post Offices and Services in Albania.

Giray has studied Antiques and Collections Management at Farnborough College of Technology and a professional philatelist since 2000, Giray has formed several philatelic collections over the years. He is also a Fellow of The Royal Philatelic Society London and a member of the International Association of Philatelic Journalists, The Academy of Turkish Philately and various worldwide philatelic societies.



***Sadly not everyone, registered for the event, uses their tickets, so all tickets for our talks must be over-issued by a percentage to compensate for these ‘no-shows’ to ensure a full audience. Due to this entrance is subject to room capacity & served on a first-come, first-served basis. This registration does not guarantee entrance. Thanks for your understanding.

We, like many of you, are doing our best to limit our environmental impact so please do not print your ticket as you can enter the event with your name at the door. Thank you.