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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

Recai (I). Recai was created by “Server Bedii,” the pseudonym of the Turkish author Peyami Safa (Kartal Ihsan, Imdad, Tilki Leman, Necati, Çekirge Zehra), and appeared in at least thirty-five dime novel stories and a number of novels and short story collections from 1925 to 1961, beginning with Cingöz Recai Kibar Serisi #1-10 (1925).

Recai (I) is a Lupin. A Turk, he is known as "Cingöz Recai," "Wily Recai," and is a cunning, intuitive, and devious detective. He is a master of disguise, full of joie de vivre and good humor, and he does things as much for the thrill of the chase as for any desire for justice. But Recai begins as a detective and remains so throughout his long fictional life. In Cingöz Recâî Serlok Holmes’e Karsi #1-15 (1926) Recai jousts with Sherlock Holmes. In 1935, in Arsen Lüpen Istanbul'da, Recai duels with Arsène Lupin himself. In other novels Recai jousts with Kartal Ihsan and Çekirge Zehra.

Recai appears in stories with titles like “The Evil Eye” and “A Kidnaped Girl.”

* I'm including the Recai stories and novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of his archetypal status. There were a number of other Lupins in Turkish dime novels and novels during the 1920s and 1930s, just as there were a number of detectives in Turkish dime novels and novels during those decades. But only Recai lasted for thirty-five dime novel issues--an impressive record for a Turkish dime novel character--and only Recai lasted for thirty-six years--a very impressive record for a character in Turkish popular literature. The stories themselves are entertaining--Peyami Safa was pretty good at the whole writing game--and Recai is certainly a formidable character, but it is largely thanks to his longevity that he became the archetypal crime-solving Lupin which he was for thirty-six years. 

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