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Akca, S., Akbulut, M. (2016). Content Based Social Network Analysis of Reşat Nuri Güntekin's Letters. In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, p. 725.
Content Based Social Network Analysis of Reşat Nuri Güntekin's Letters

Content Based Social Network Analysis of Reşat Nuri Güntekin's Letters

Reşat Nuri Güntekin is one of the most important authors in Turkish literature, who gave a direction to the Turkish literature with his many novels and essays. He also conducted significant bureaucratic tasks in the early years of the Turkish Republic. He left substantive materials which have historical and literary value, considering his lifetime. The letters he wrote to his wife give us important information about this period. In addition, these letters are also of capital significance in terms of their evincing the historical events and social life of early period of Turkish Republic through the eyes of an author and statesman. The letters also constitute alternative historical as well as official information resources.

The letters began to be written to his wife, Hadiye in 1927. Although 62 letters were written with their dates affixed, there are 22 letters without dates. The letters were written in Ottoman Turkish. They were transcribed into the Latin characters and published. In order to discover the relationships between events and people in the text, we visualize the letters by using social network analysis and content analysis methods.

Social network analysis method is used to visualize the connections between communities whose existing connections are not easy to be perceived and modelled, through describing the network structures. Social network analyses are important in terms of visualizing the complexity in a simpler way. The fact that the letters Reşat Nuri Güntekin sent to his wife were from different cities and about important people of the period makes them suitable for a social network analysis. With the social networks obtained from the archive of letters, the closeness between the historical figures and the indirect effects to each other can be detected and the historical inferences can be made by examining these connections.

Content analysis method is the process of summarizing the content of the written information and the messages contained in them. This method has been used frequently in social sciences and typically preferred for the analysis of written texts such as books, letters, newspapers etc.

Primarily the descriptive statistics about the content of the letters are presented and then the findings from the content analysis on the messages are revealed. In this paper, the big picture and the details are explained through social network analysis method and the connections and relationships which are indirect, are made apparent.

Relationship between people and the citations etc. are mostly suggested clearly in social network analysis studies. However the relationship between the people in the mentioned letters is not clear. Therefore it is determined in the study based on the proximity and frequency of the names in the text. Proximity-based method is based on the names similar to each other in the letters. Within the scope of the study, CiteSpace software was used for visualization.