Life of Nazim Hikmet, Continued

In January 1938, he was again arrested and sentenced to twenty-eight years in prison on charges of sedition. In particular, it was his poem "The Epic of Sheik Dedreddin", published in 1936, which was believed to be provoking the Turkish army into rebellion.

His arrest caused a huge uproar amongst the international literary community and in 1949 a committee comprising of Pablo Picasso, Paul Sartre and Paul Robeson was formed to crusade against the arrest of Nazim Hikmet.

In 1950, Nazim Hikmet was awarded the International Peace Prize by Soviet Union, an honor that he shared with Pablo Neruda.

The same year, Hikmet was released on an amnesty when Turkey's first democratic government came to power. However, this did not mean a reprieve from his persecution. He was continued to be hounded by the police and the army. He survived two attempts on his life and his failing health notwithstanding, he was forced into military duty on the Russian frontline.

Fortunately for him, he managed to escape. A treacherous journey later, wherein he was rescued from the sea by a Romanian cargo ship half-dead and utterly exhausted from being tossed and turned in the tumultuous waters of the Bosphorous Strait, Nazim Hikmet finally reached Moscow.

He was provided accommodation in the writers' colony of Peredelkino in Moscow, but the Turkish government did not permit his family to join him.

Despite his recurring heart ailments, Nazim Hikmet continued his writings, propagating his Marxist ideals. He became a Polish national and traveled extensively to countries like Africa, China, France, Italy, Cuba, Bulgaria and erstwhile Czechoslovakia.

He died in Moscow on June 3, 1963.